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Chiefs have to solve this problem before they can start winning trophies again [opinion]

@Thatob_
By @Thatob_ | self meida writer
Published 14 days ago - 1057 views

Kaizer Chiefs are one of the big teams that always fall prey to a giant-killing act when they come up against lower division sides in the Nedbank Cup.

And the trend continued this past weekend as they were dumped out of the Nedbank Cup in the first round by second-tier side Richards Bay.

In 2011 Baroka, then a team from ABC Motsepe League famously knocked Chiefs out of the national cup and two years before that they were also embarrassed by University of Pretoria.

However, it should be noted that Amakhosi are the record 13-time winners in this competition and maybe lower league sides are more motivated to do well against the so-called "cup kings" of South African football.

For a big club, cup competitions offer an opportunity to grow the brand by winning the title but on the other hand it presents an opportunity to rotate the squad, especially in the early stages or if they are not pitted against Premiership sides.

That is where they encounter problems because if they do not field their strongest line-up against the so-called smaller teams, it gives them an opportunity to cause an upset, as it was the case over the weekend.

Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt fielded a second string side against the Natal Rich Boyz, some of them were very rusty like Siphelele Ntshangase, Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya both of whom were not getting game time so far this season.

And after going a goal down before half-time, Hunt realised his mistake and made four substitutions at once coming from the break. Already the momentum of the team is broken. It proved too late to rescue the game.

Did Hunt take Richards Bay for granted?

Former Amakhosi midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha recalled how their mentality was ahead of their game against Baroka in 2011 and indicated that they lost because they were taking Bakgaga for granted.

"I think Chiefs lose these games [against teams from lower leagues] because they underestimate those teams, whereas those teams come with that extra motivation and eagerness to show the world that in football name counts for nothing," Nengomasha told SowetanLive.

“I remember when we were going to face Baroka...we were sure that we will win. Our mentality was poor at the time, we just told ourselves that it was going to be easy.”

So against lower league sides Chiefs coaches have to work more on the mentality of the players and they need to start fielding their strongest line-up to avoid continuous embarassment.

Do you think Chiefs underestimate smaller teams in the Nedbank Cup?

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