Home Sport Beating Stellenbosch FC not a Given for Kaizer Chiefs

Beating Stellenbosch FC not a Given for Kaizer Chiefs

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Amakhosi would do well to note that the Cape Winelands side have been in superb form in recent months, a run that has taken them to the coveted second spot on the log.

Given Msimango of Kaizer Chiefs during the DStv Premiership 2023/24 Kaizer Chiefs Training Session at the Chiefs Village. File Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

Mihlali Baleka

Kaizer Chiefs defender Given Msimango is confident that they’ll be able to tame the high-flying Stellenbosch FC at the FNB Stadium on Tuesday night (7.30pm kick-off).

Chiefs extended their barren run without a trophy to nine seasons this month – a slump they are expected to make up for by at least finishing in the top three in the DStv Premiership.

But they’ve also struggled in that regard, collecting only five points from a possible 12 in the last four games, thanks to a win, two draws and a defeat.

Their most recent disappointing result was a dull goalless draw against Cape Town City at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday.

That game was a six-pointer for Chiefs, as City are also gunning for a top-three finish, and now they face another Western Cape outfit in Stellies.

The Cape Winelands side have been in superb form in recent months, a run that has taken them to the coveted second spot on the log.

Coach Steve Barker’s Stellenbosch beat Royal AM 3-0 at the weekend en route to second place, and are still in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals, where they’ll face SuperSport United.

So, Msimango knows the danger that their visitors will pose at the Calabash on Tuesday night. Hence, they didn’t leave any stone unturned in their preparations.

“Stellenbosch are a team that are on the up. They’ve been doing well this season,” the Chiefs vice-captain explained.

“Credit should go to coach Steve Barker and his technical team. They’ve built something good there at Stellies. They are a team that can pose problems for anyone.

“We are aware of the threat that they pose. We have watched their games and have analysed them. So tactically, we have prepared for them.”

Msimango knows that talk is cheap, though – something that interim boss Cavin Johnson and his fellow Chiefs coaches have warned them against.

“It’s all up to us on the day to put in the effort. We can talk tactics all day, (but) when it is time to put in the practical application, that’s what counts,” he said.

“I feel the coaches have prepared us well for that. So, we are looking forward to the game on Tuesday.”

Even though they have not been at their best, Chiefs have had some positives.

Goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma has been a shining star in a dark time for the team. Fresh from the Bafana Bafana camp in Algeria, Bvuma kept his eighth clean sheet in 10 games across all competitions against the Citizens.

And that was pleasing for the Amakhosi, who now seem to have only one department to worry about as they continue to blow hot and cold up front.

Chiefs have only scored three goals in six games this year, something that must be worrying for the club.

Reflecting on their draw with City, Msimango – who captained the team on the day – was pleased with the performance and clean sheet, but not the result.

“It was a disappointing result for the Amakhosi faithful. A win was expected from us, given the preparations we put in leading up to the game,” he said.

“But I’ll never fault the performance of the team. We played very well … dominated the game and created more scoring chances.

“We were solid at the back. I think we only gave them two opportunities. So, that speaks to the performance of the team holistically defensively.”

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