All Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt could do after his team drew 0-0 with Guinean outfit Horoya in their opening game of the 2020-21 CAF Champions League Group Stages at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening was shake his head. He was in both disbelief and unhappiness as his team should have picked up all three points against Horoya but they were left to rue an unfortunate decision by the match officials to rule out a Samir Nurković goal in the 48th minutes which looked to be on side.
Chiefs began by putting the Horoya goal under siege as early as in the second minute when a ball from Bernard Parker from the left was deflected upwards, Samir Nurković attacked the skied ball and Horoya’s keeper Moussa Camara came out. He was however unable to properly deal with it and pushed it wide. Chiefs managed to send the ball over again and Camara once again was unable to handle the ball, palming into Leonardo Castro who in turn set up Nkosingiphile Ngcobo but his shot at goal was blocked.
While Chiefs were enjoying dominating play, they were almost caught napping in the 31st minute when Horoya launched a quick counterattack. A long ball from the left was sent over the top finding Enoch Agyei in acres of space on the right wing. As he bore down on goal, Itumeleng Khune came off his line to stop. The Horoya attacker got the ball beyond the Chiefs keeper. It seemed like the ball was rolling towards an empty net but to Chiefs reprieve, the ball rolled harmlessly out for a goal kick.
Amakhosi’s dominance continued and they pushed Horoya all the way back in the final minute of the first half. It was Parker who was again the creative hub of Chiefs’’ attacks. As he glided past the Horoya defence, he was able to cut the ball from the left across goal trying to pick out Leonardo Castro. instead the defence were able to cut out the ball as the first half ended 0-0.
Three minutes after the restart, Nurković connected with a cross from the left and headed the ball from close range past Camara, but the goal was ruled out for offside. On further inspection, it looked as though the decision might not have been the correct one. There was to be more agony for the Serbian striker in the 52nd minute as he knocked the ball home from close range. Again, the goal was ruled out for offside. The signs though were positive for Chiefs who were knocking on the door.
Chiefs continued probing and were thwarted in the 75th minute when Castro’s long-range drive at goal from distance saw Camara dive to his right as he put out a hand to push the ball out for a corner. A few minutes later Siyabonga Ngezana rose very high to cut out a cross from the right, deflecting the ball for a corner with Agyei lurking just behind him.
Khune was hardly tested during the game stood his ground to push the ball over his post when dealing with a shot from the edge of his 18-yard area by Sekou Keita. Chiefs then launched an attack they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Horoya 18-yard area. Lebogang Manyama took the free kick getting it over the wall and it took a leaping Camara to turn the ball around his post, to deny Chiefs all three points right at the end of the game.
An unfortunate result for Chiefs who were the dominant team and were unlucky to have Nurković goal early in the second half chalked off for offside, a positive start to the CAF Champions League group stages as they earn a point which they will be hoping to build on in their next game against Wydad Casablanca.