Baxter relieved despite defeat
Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter has expressed relief that his players escaped largely undamaged from a bruising match with Orlando Pirates on Saturday.
Although George Lebese had to go off in the first half after a knock received in a dangerous tackle by Rooi Mahamutsa, there were no other injuries for report for Chiefs after they lost for a second successive year to their arch rivals in the Carling Black Label Cup.
Both teams dished out some crunching tackles and there were several arguments and pushing and shoving between the players as tempers threatened to get out of hand – even though it was a pre-season tournament match.
“You are always worried about players getting injured so close to the start of the season but I’m also not asking them to pull out of challenges. The game (against Pirates) was so passionate, so you are always going to be nervous so close to the first official game of the season” added Baxter.
Last week Siphiwe Tshabalala received a potential serious ankle knock in the Gauteng Cup against Moroka Swallows although has since made a quicker than expected recovery.
Baxter said he was pleased with Chiefs’ performance despite their having conceded a late equaliser to Pirates in stoppage time at the end of the game.
“The players were sharp and looked in good shape,” he added. “I thought they ran the game out very well.”