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Seems the big boys are back to winning ways


The little that I witnessed of Kaizer Chief’s encounter with Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City was of a team that went for goals by very unusual means

Neville's eye

As the Premier Soccer League season draws to a close it looks as though the Soweto football giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs might be headed for glory days again; one in the league itself and the other in the Nedbank Cup, that is, if yours truly’s predictions pan out correctly.

To start with, commentary on social media seems to suggest that Kaizer Chiefs for once played like the team of old over the weekend, meaning they went into the Nedbank Cup quarter-final fixture against Cape Town City with some verve and more. Well, that is not surprising if you know their pedigree.

The little that I witnessed of Kaizer Chief’s encounter with Benni McCarthy’s Cape Town City was of a team that went for goals by very unusual means.

The first was a deflected goal off the boot or calf of a City defender who was vainly trying to shield his posts from a strike by Pule Eckstein.

The next goal was a strike by Dumisane Zuma, with what looks suspiciously like a knee or hip rebound, which went past the Cape Town City goalkeeper. The Chiefs players celebrated the goal like nothing you have seen before.

After all, they all count, don’t they?

Orlando Pirates for their part should by today have improved on their “calling” to be Mzansi’s best team this season, that is should they overcome the smooth-riding Mamelodi Sundowns at their home in Orlando.

Should matters work out for the Buccaneers they will at least share the top spot with the Brazilians. If not, well, they will have to come back on another day and make another bid to get to the top. Such will be life be for Orlando Pirates going into the twilight of the Premier League with just a handful of games left before the season wraps up.

Almost the same sort of rationale can be applied to Chiefs, but alas, only in relation to the Nedbank Cup.

There they have what are relative palookas to face in the high cup stakes. Based on Chiefs’ pedigree alone the Phefeni club should walk the semi-finals and land smack bang in the middle of the fight for the Nedbank Cup top honours.

But that last prediction of mine one should take with a healthy pinch of reality.

Even though there is a registered National First Division club in the race for the Nedbank Cup honours in the guise of TS Galaxy, these days it is extremely risky to predict what kind of result might emanate from a clash between say Kaizer Chiefs and side with a lesser-known brand such as Galaxy for instance.

As matters stand Chiefs will run out against Chippa United while Steve Komphela’s Golden Arrows will take on Galaxy in the semis.

As for that much-hyped quarter-final clash I mentioned earlier between Chiefs and Cape Town City, I for one had secretly hoped that McCarthy would emulate that feat by Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid where Zidane achieved a treble of cup wins with the club in three successive years in the Uefa Champions League.

OK, a double of any description for McCarthy here at home would have been good for me and I suspect McCarthy would have appreciated that as well.

McCarthy has already pulled off a remarkable feat by steering a top-rated South African club through the treacherous waters of the Premier Soccer League.

He affirmed the club owner John Comitis belief in him and we followed suit. That being the case we are eagerly looking out for more.

As for Chiefs, need I even mention it? They are statistically out of the league title race, for now.