Home Sport Prospect of facing Chiefs making Arrows quiver with anticipation, not fear

Prospect of facing Chiefs making Arrows quiver with anticipation, not fear

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Abafana Bes’thende have won four of their last five meetings against the Soweto giants, a trend they’ll want to continue on Tuesday.

John Mwengani of Lamontville Golden Arrows in action. File Picture: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

Smiso Msomi

A Golden Arrows side who cannot seem to catch a break lately is expected to target a famous league double over Kaizer Chiefs in their next fixture.

The two teams, who are both under pressure, will meet at what is expected to be an empty FNB Stadium at 7.30pm on Tuesday night, looking to turn their fortunes around.

If anyone had told Abafana Bes’thende that their last meeting against Amakhosi in Hammarsdale would be the last time they earned a win on the pitch, that person would have been considered a madman at the time.

Arrows began the 2023/24 campaign in fine style as they lost just one of their opening nine league games of the season (to Mamelodi Sundowns). The club collected 20 out of a possible 27 available points, surging up to second in the DStv Premiership at one point.

However, since beating Chiefs, in October last year, the Durban-based side has only managed to collect three points from a walkover.

The pressure continues to mount on Arrows head coach Mabhuti Khenyeza, who has seen his team suffer a tenth straight loss on the pitch, relinquishing their place in the top eight in the process.

If there was ever a make-or-break moment for both Khenyeza and Arrows, this would be the one against a side they’ve grown used to humbling over the years. Abafana Bes’thende have won four of their last five meetings against the Soweto giants, a trend they’ll want to continue on Tuesday.

At the heart of Arrows’ problems during this treacherous run has been their fragile defensive set-up. Despite bringing in the experience of Zambian-born John Mwengani and restoring Sifiso Mlungwana in goal, Khenyeza’s men just cannot keep the opposition out and now seem to not know how to avoid defeat.

In their last match, Arrows went to sleep in the 92nd minute to allow Sekhukhune United to steal victory at the Mpumalanga Stadium after having bossed the game and created the better goal scoring chances. Khenyeza was visibly dejected, more than frustrated, as he admitted to not understanding how Arrows keep losing games they’re well in control of.

With an online campaign gathering steam among Chiefs supporters, who aim to boycott the club’s matches until they turn their fortunes around, Arrows will have no better opportunity to break their bad run.

Even though they’ve had a bad start to 2024, the likes of Knox Mutizwa, Angelo van Rooi and former Amakhosi man Ryan Moon will need craft to break down a Chiefs side only bettered by Mamelodi Sundowns in terms of defence.

With each defeat or failure to win a match, the calls for the axing of Khenyeza get louder, something Arrows will want to put a stop to against one of their favourite opponents.

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