Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
FORMER Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas has come under renewed pressure at his South African National First Division club AmaZulu following a 0-2 loss to newly promoted Real Kings on Sunday in a match they ended with nine men.
The loss saw AmaZulu, who made clear their title ambitions at the beginning of the season, drifting 11 points behind log leaders and fierce rivals Thanda Royal Zulu, who have amassed 24 points from 10 games.Antipas, who joined AmaZulu in July, had already been under pressure following his side’s four-match losing streak.
The loss to Real Kings, who were promoted from the Safa Second Division, came as a blow and sources said if results don’t change immediately the axe could fall on Antipas.
AmaZulu were reduced to nine men in the first half following two red cards shown to Sbu Magaqa and Lungelo Dlamini, while Real Kings had Sibonelo Khubone receiving marching orders two minutes before they opened the score sheet through Philani Gumede and sealed the match with a goal from Sello Motsepa.
A source at the club said they were worried by the 11-point gap between Usuthu and Thanda Royal Zulu.
“After beating Mbombela a fortnight ago, we were optimistic of continuing with our winning streak, but the loss to newcomers has had alarms bells ringing again,” said the source.
“The club stated from the start they wanting nothing but a return to the Premiership this season and being far off from the log leaders like this is worrying and the officials do not want a repeat of last season when they invested in the team and failed to achieve their goal.
“Management doesn’t want to leave it too late like they did with Clive Barker last year and if they feel things are not going their way, they will not hesitate to change personnel at the helm,” the source said.
Efforts to get a comment from AmaZulu communications officer Brilliant Makhathini were fruitless as his mobile phone number was unreachable.