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Fri Apr 25 01:57:20 SAST 2014

Baxter hails Chiefs' character

TEAMtalk Media | 17 February, 2013 13:080 Comments
Bernard Parker celebrates during the PSL match between Kaizer Chiefs and Free State Stars at FNB Stadium on February 16, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Image by: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

Kaizer Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter was delighted with the 'character' shown by his side after they came from behind to beat Free State Stars 2-1 on Saturday.

The Glamour Boys had gone behind to a sensational strike by Fikru Lemessa, but battled back through Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Bernard Parker to claim three vital points and return to the top of the PSL standings.

Speaking after the game, Baxter had plenty of praise for his Ea Lla Koto counterpart, Steve Komphela, but was even more pleased with the way his side turned things around late on.

"Steve (Komphela) put together a game plan, and we had problems getting our game going," the Englishman said.

"They scored a wonder goal, which really puts you up against it, but we changed our game plan and went a little more direct, asked a few more questions of them.

"We worked very hard on our set plays, and it was a massive effort."

Baxter added: "I'm really pleased. The character (Chiefs) showed tonight is the character that keeps you in games even when you not playing at your best, which we weren't.

"But even Manchester United don't always play their best, but they still win games."

Free State Stars coach Steve Komphela however was left questioning some of the refereeing decisions.

Fikru Lemessa's audacious strike gave Ea Lla Koto the opening goal, but Reneilwe Letsholonyane headed home the equaliser after 73 minutes while Bernard Parker completed the turn-around from a free-kick on 82 minutes.

Replays had shown the match official had got the decision wrong leading up to Amakhosi's second goal, but overall Komphela was pleased with the way his side handled themselves against the Glamour Boys.

"It was a nice match, I think we could have won the match, but two decisive free-kicks spoiled the night for us," he said after the encounter.

"In a match of this nature, with two teams with a good defensive record, you are not going to get too many chances.

"We created chances, I think especially in the first-half, but we weren't good at finishing. Attention to detail makes the difference in a match of this calibre."

Speaking about Lemessa's strike as a contender for goal of the season, Komphela said: "It was pleasurable to see such a classic goal in this game. I thought it should have won the game."

However, the tactician was left to rue a late lapse in concentration, adding: "With 15 minutes to go we need more concentration. It feels bad, but we must know why we lost it, and what we could have done."

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