Pule, Mbuthu in trouble with the coach
Pule, Mbuthu in trouble with the coach

Posted in News on May 18, 2001.

Influential Kaizer Chiefs midfielders Jabu Pule and Patrick Mbuthu are in trouble with the club after playing a disappearing act ahead of their crucial Premier League match against Free State Stars at Ellis Park on Thursday.

Chiefs huffed and puffed until they were beaten 1-0 by Stars without the two former national under-23 players who, according to coach Muhsin Ertugral, disappeared without trace.

A raging Ertugral said after the match that the two stars had also skipped training on several occasions without good explanation and that they would have to account for their actions on their return.

Chiefs ran like a car without an engine as they made a painful return to the scene of the tragedy, which claimed over 40 lives last month. The "Glamour Boys" lacked spark and a sense of urgency as they battled to string passes together. Strikers Luke Petros and Siyabonga Nomvete occasionally had to go deep into the midfield to collect the ball.

Modern coaches normally say a game of football is not about individuals but it was clear on the night that the absence of Pule and Mbuthu tempered with the rhythm of the team. The two have been inspirational in the past couple of matches and now they could find themselves on the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

"I am sick and tired of their lack of discipline," Ertugral exploded as he tried to give the lowdown of the match. "The game is not about individuals but their absence upset our plans and I cannot tolerate this nonsense anymore."

News about deteriorating discipline in the camp could have perhaps never reached members of the fourth estate had the outcome been otherwise. "People must know that these two boys are ill-disciplined and their attitude is very bad. We are at a very crucial stage in the title race and we need to pull together. The level of discipline must also raise."

Chiefs moved one place down to the fifth spot with four games to go and in all fairness, look to have aborted their plans of winning the league following this outcome. But the Premire League campaign has never been short of surprises this season and a miracle could be their last bet.

The action was not particularly appetising in the opening minutes as both sides strolled across the field as though they were there to share the spoils.

Ellis Park came to life after 23 minutes when Nomvete almost placed the hosts in the driving seat. Bhele had the goal at his mercy with the Stars keeper caught stranded in no-mans land but instead of just lobbing the ball above Michel Babale, Nomvete hoofed the ball over goals.

Six minutes later Thato Mokoena released Nomvete but his shot hit the side net.

The Free State outfit replied with two chances, which did not trouble Brian Baloyi. On 31 minutes Pitso Mokoena tested Baloyi with a long-range shot but the Chiefs goal minder had his place well covered. Three minutes later Mokoena turned his marker Cyril Nzama and fed David Radebe but his attempt was blocked.

Chiefs made two changes after the break with Justice Sithole coming on for Robert Nauseb and Robson Muchichwa for Thato Mokoena. Nhlanhla Kubeka collected a yellow card on 47 minutes as he tried to deal with the Stars attack.

But Stars returned like a side chasing the championship in the second half and Chiefs defended with their backs against the wall. Baloyi made a vital save in 62 minutes to deny Hleza Mofeli.

Two minutes earlier Chiefs had a golden opportunity but instead of driving the ball into the net, Zwane ballooned it over the bar.

Veteran midfielder Doctor Khumalo was thrown in 67 minutes into the game in place of Arthur Zwane but the experienced and aging midfield maestro could not turn the magic for Amakhosi.

Mofeli threw a spanner in Amakhosi’s works in the 76th minute as he headed home to put Stars in the lead following a well-taken corner by Mokotjo.

Frustrated Amakhosi supporters came down heavy on Marco Mthembu and they constantly booed him whenever he made a fault. The crowd went mad as the clock was ticking away and indicated to the Chiefs bench it was time to make changes with Mthembu the target.

By now the writing was on the wall, and with five minutes still remaining the Amakhosi supporters started making their way towards the exits.

Last minute attempts proved fruitless as Stars held on to their lead to cement a place in the Top Eight. Sithole had a good chance in the 90th minute but his hurried shot missed the target.

Ertugral did not spare the rod as he lambasted the Amakhosi supporters, particularly for their treatment of Mthembu whom he described as key to his plans. The German-Turk could not contain his anger and words, some of which will not make it to a family publication like this, started flying in front of the dressing room.

Chiefs will now face Golden Arrows at the same venue on Sunday and defeat on the day will certainly see them out of the championship race.


Kaizer Chiefs: Brian Baloyi, Cyril Nzama, Marco Mthembu, Nhlanhla Kubeka, Patrick Mabedi, Thato Mokoena (Robson Muchichwa 46th), Arthur Zwane (Doctor Khumalo 67th), Robert Nauseb (Justice Sithole 46th), Luke Petros, Thabo Mooki, Siyabonga Nomvete.

FS Stars: Michel Babale, Petros Rantili, Asanda Dakama, Joe Bwalya, Nkosana Xaba, Goodman Mazibuko, Tsweu Mokoro, Pitso Lekone (Teboho Tsiu 64th), Hleza Mofeli, Duncan Lechesa, David Radebe (Pogiso Mokotjo 75th).

Referee: Ian McLeod

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