Two goals from Leonardo Castro helped relieve the pressure on Chiefs at the weekend, even though they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Golden Arrows. Yet, Gavin Hunt will be pleased that his side are finding the net again, having failed to score in the league all season (1 own goal).
He will also be happy that one of his most trusted players Khama Billiat was back to his best, providing two assists in a league game for the first time in his Chiefs career.
Unders or Overs?
2 – On Saturday, Chiefs scored more than one goal in a league game for the first time in ten attempts.
Their opponents on Tuesday night, Swallows FC, have not been prolific either, with seven other teams scoring more goals than them. But the 0-0 draw on the weekend represented the first time they have failed to score since another 0-0 draw at the start of the bio-bubble. They had scored in 8 games on the trot until Saturday.
Chiefs will be coming across a team with a seldom seen ability to shut the back door as Swallows have done in the last few games. To put their start to the season in context, only seven different sides have kept three clean sheets in their four season-opening league games since Moroka Swallows were relegated in 2014/15. That’s 7 out of 80 different sides.
Indeed, Swallows defence is so solid, they are still the only side in the top two South African divisions yet to concede an open-play goal since football resumed in the bio-bubble in August. The two goals they have conceded in ten games since the bio-bubble have both come from penalties.
The fact that all of Chiefs’ goals in all competitions this season have come in the second half of matches may be cause for concern. While this may point to a team that keeps fighting, often it is too late to start scoring in the second half. This year, Chiefs have won just one of the nine games where the opposition has scored the opening goal, drawing two and losing the other six. Similarly, Swallows have scored 75% of their goals in the second half of games (3 of 4), with their only first-half goal coming from the penalty spot.
The history between Kaizer Chiefs and Swallows FC (previously Moroka Swallows) favours Chiefs as well. Much has changed since Moroka Swallows were in the top-flight – from their rebranding to Swallows FC to innumerable staff and player changes on both sides, the historical results may not mean much in this one. One link is that the last goal scored in a league match between Chiefs and the old Moroka Swallows was scored by Bernard Parker, who is still on Chiefs’ books today.
1 – Chiefs lost just one of the last 12 league games played against the old Moroka Swallows, drawing five and winning the other six. Will they continue that record against a rebranded Swallows FC?