Kaizer Chiefs’ maiden victory over Royal AM and their first win this year came at a high cost, with Amakhosi likely to be without two important defenders for a while.
Coach Arthur Zwane was yet to get the full diagnosis from the medical team when he addressed the media at the post-match press conference of their 2-0 win at Peter Mokaba Stadium Sunday night. But he was resigned to being without both Reeve Frosler and Dillan Solomons for the foreseeable future.
“The worrying factor from this match is losing two key players in the right-back position,” Zwane lamented deep in the bowels of the Limpopo arena that hosted matches during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
He was referring to the injuries suffered by both Frosler and the player who replaced him before the 10-minute mark, Solomons.
“I am not too sure what happened with Frosler but he might have a broken cheek. Solomons, I think there’s a shoulder dislocation.”
Solomons replaced Frosler in the eighth minute, impressed at fullback, then himself limped off near the end.
Such has been the Amakhosi story: injuries to key players disrupting their momentum as they strive to return to their glory days after seven seasons of championship drought.
Zwane though, new as he might be to the head coaching job, has been taking it all like a seasoned professional.
“Whenever the team is doing well, we lose players to injuries. We have been unfortunate when it comes to that — losing key players when we need them the most. But as coaches we will come up with a plan because we have a very good squad that we have assembled this season.”
That much was proven against Royal, with Amakhosi dominating the match despite that early setback of losing Frosler.
Perhaps most impressive was the showing of new signing Christian Saile, who made a telling contribution on debut. The 22-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo striker's bright introduction — setting up Chiefs' 85th-minute second as he beat Thabo Matlaba for pace and squared for Ashley du Preez to finish — would have negated to some extent the losses of Frosler and Solomons.
Former Bafana Bafana left-back Sifiso Hlanti struck in Amakhosi's first in the 60th.
Chiefs, who bounced back from three successive defeats against Royal, meet TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium on Sunday.