Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter applauded his side for showing character when they went against a revitalised Maritzburg United in the Absa Premiership on Tuesday night. Amakhosi were called to the party by the Team of Choice as they took the lead twice, and the Naturena boys had to come back on both occasions at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
Even though the log leaders could not make it a ten-game winning streak in the league as a result of the 2-2 draw, Baxter commended the character displayed by his side, applauding their fighting spirit and the ability to keep calm.
Ryan De Jongh pulled off a long range shot, opening the scoring early in the game. When Siphiwe Tshabalala drilled a shot at the United goal, it was flicked away by goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters but bounced back off the bar and Kingston Nkhatha was close enough to level the score. All of this took place in the first six minutes.
A relatively quiet half-hour would go by before Bhongolwethu Jayiya took the responsibility of a spot kick and it would be 2-1 to Maritzburg going into the break. With less than ten minutes to play Bernard Parker swung in a free-kick and Tefu Mashamaite’s head met the ball to equalise for Chiefs.
“I think it was a fantastic game for the crowd, on a pitch that was not conducive to good football. They didn’t panic,” said Baxter. “I thought at 1-1 we were dominating, but then we went 2-1 down.” He also noted the chances Chiefs had to win it, “We could have taken a couple of our chances. But I can’t complain, their courage to continue playing was admirable,” he concluded.