Herman Gibbs looks at five takeaways from South African football and teams that played this past weekend.
Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were victorious in the DStv Premiership this weekend, while the aristocrats of South African football drew a blank in a continental fixture.
Here, Herman Gibbs looks at five takeaways from Mzansi football over the weekend.
On the big three
The Amakhosi shaded Polokwane City at Peter Mokaba Stadium thanks to a goal by Pule Mmodi, while the former Marumo Gallants star Ranga Chivaviro was a shadow of his former self.
Meanwhile, Deon Hotto of Pirates scored the only goal of the match with a skilfully executed free-kick against Carling Knockout Cup finalists TS Galaxy.
Elsewhere, Mamelodi Sundowns dropped vital points after a goalless CAF Champions League draw against the visiting Egyptian side Pyramids. Last week, despite dominating the game, Sundowns lost 1-0 to TP Mazembe in another CAF Champions League match.
It is unusual for Sundowns to go winless in successive weeks.
Johnson comes out firing
Meanwhile, Chiefs coach Cavin Johnson played the role of firefighter at the post-match presser after the Polokwane City clash.
He came to the defence of striker Chivaviro, who has struggled to rediscover his scoring form since his high-profile move to Amakhosi.
“I have to go back,” he said, “make sure his head is clean. Strikers are like goalkeepers, they are mad. Sometimes they are mad, they want to score goals.”
He also fielded questions about Itumeleng Khune, who was stripped of the Chiefs captaincy and is under suspension.
“None of us are perfect,” Johnson said, “that is something that we all have to know. Whatever happens to some of our players, especially (off the pitch) after they play, we are all not perfect. Things like this happen.”
Stellies in perfect KO build-up
Stellenbosch bagged the bragging rights after defeating Cape Town City 1-0 in Friday’s iKapa derby.
The win propelled the Winelands side to a lofty third place – one spot behind City – in the Premiership standings.
With this outcome, Stellenbosch extended their unbeaten run to nine matches. Remarkably, Stellenbosch last tasted defeat in late September against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Moyo misses his chance
On Friday night, Khanyisa Moyo, Cape Town City’s target man, was red-carded against the in-form Stellies.
He received a second yellow after the referee believed he had simulated a foul. This iKapa derby was meant to give Moyo a chance to prove to national team coach Hugo Broos that he was good enough to play for Bafana Bafana.
Mayo’s two-match ban, however, means he’ll be sitting in the stands on Christmas Eve when City play Sundowns and also on New Year’s Eve for the Cape Town Spurs derby.
SuperSport United’s woes in the CAF Confederation Cup continued over the weekend when they suffered their third consecutive defeat in as many matches.
Given the club’s limited resources, coach Gavin Hunt has been playing several players from the youth ranks, so that the core of the team remains fresh for the Premiership matches.
Sekhukhune United, meanwhile, dropped points against Stade Malien in their Confederation Cup tie on Sunday night but are still in the running to reach the knockout stages.