This match will test whether Chiefs have the mettle and staying power to win the Premiership title
There’s a bumpy road ahead. Absa Premiership log leaders Kaizer Chiefs got a rather brutal wake-up call as they failed to consolidate their top of the table spot on Saturday after losing to relegation-threatened side AmaZulu at home.
Despite the loss, though, Chiefs remained summit of the standings with 48 points, while they only have eight matches to ensure that they finish at the summit of the standings in May, something that could very well clear off the dust in the club’s trophy cabinet after a four-and-a-half year barren run.
Those well-informed football pundits, however, will tell you that’s easier said than done. Chiefs are atop of the log standings, seven points clear of the second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, who have two games in hand after playing in continental football in the last two weeks.
Against Usuthu, the Glamour Boys stood a very good chance of extending that lead to 10 points.
But the Durban-based side, who’ve been stuck on the bottom of the log standings for the better part of the season, proved that they are willing to fight tooth and nail in order to stay afloat.
This victory was of course sweet for them, especially after being guided to victory by Ayanda Dlamini and veteran goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs as head coach Jozef Vukusic is serving a suspension.
But for Chiefs this was a wake-up call, proving that they need to inflict more misery on the teams that are fighting for their lives in order to reign supreme. Rewind back to two weeks ago, Chiefs were the big victors in the Premiership, completing a league double over their nemesis and title hopefuls Orlando Pirates, who are third on the log standings and nine points behind.
Well that result cemented Chiefs’ impressive dominance over the chasing pack, especially having already defeated Sundowns by 2-0 in the first half of the season.
Against the top five, Chiefs’ biggest blemishes was at the hands of SuperSport United who defeated and held them to a draw.
Chiefs though will get a chance to get back to winning ways in the next league encounter as they’ll welcome Bidvest Wits at the FNB Stadium on March 17.
This match will test whether Chiefs have the mettle and staying power to win the Premiership title.
The Clever Boys are sixth on the log standings but they make the short trip from Braamfontein to Soweto with all to play for as they are hoping to close in on the leaders using the catch-up matches they have to play after being involved in continental football earlier this season.
Sure, the Clever Boys still believe they can achieve the improbable by dethroning Chiefs in May but following a string of poor results, it seems as though Gavin Hunt’s men will have to fine-tune their performances in the last 10 matches.
The Clever Boys, who played Chippa United to a goalless draw at home on Saturday night, will get a chance to get back to winning ways tomorrow night as they’ll host basement dwellers Black Leopards at Bidvest Stadium.
But that won’t be an easy walk in the park. In the final stretch of the season every team have their own ambitions – fighting for the league title, top eight or hoping to save their elite league status.