Home Sport Soccer South African teams are making their presence felt on the continent

South African teams are making their presence felt on the continent

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So far the signing on of the German coach has sort of paid off for Chiefs on the home front. It is easy to guess why that is the case

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Kaizer Chiefs, the much-loved South African football club, is for some unexplained reason blowing hot at home in the local fixtures and icy cold abroad in the CAF sanctioned matches, which throws into a flux coach Ernst Middendorp’s short tenancy at Naturena.

On the cold front the Naturena club’s fans were greeted by the icy news that their team bombed out of the CAF Confederations Cup at the weekend thanks to a 2-1 trouncing by Zambian star team Zesco United.

This latest loss in a CAF competition is definitely not in the club’s plans as it goes against the club’s new resolve to feature better and more prominently in those kind of competitions, the team’s past experiences in the CAF competitions notwithstanding.

To be fair to Middendorp he has not yet been properly embedded in the Naturena side since his rushed takeover from the bumbling Italian, Giovanni Solinas, who had dismantled what had the promise of a star bound squad.

So far the signing on of the German coach has sort of paid off for Chiefs on the home front. It is easy to guess why that is the case.

The bread and butter stuff is made on the home front while the external, international matches are most probably for the prestige and a bit of extra moolah on the side.

That is if one ignores the long reported hassles of firstly getting to and from those far off places on the continent, coupled with the dirty tricks that the supposed hosts are alleged to routinely subject their visitors to.

Not so many moons ago when CAF competitions were becoming popular with Mzansi-based clubs Chiefs had exited one of the CAF competitions in a huff over this kind of treatment including what the Amakhosi claimed was a poor remittance for their trouble by the competition’s administrators.

Chiefs served out a ban for this insubordination and CAF, in the meantime, found a new plan to pay the club’s better instead of the men in suits.

To our utter dismay Pitso Mosimane, to this day, still reports experiencing similar inconveniences when playing opponents from up north, including Wydad Casablanca of Morocco, who they walloped 2-1 in Tshwane this past weekend.

And as for Chiefs, after this latest loss in a CAF league it goes without saying that the Naturena side will have to spend many more hours reformulating their strategy of gaining a respectable hold on continental competitions.

This is especially more pressing for Chiefs seeing that two of their fellow travellers in the Premier Soccer League, namely Sundowns and Orlando Pirates, appear to be strolling through the park regardless of the kinds of competition thrown at them by CAF.

Therefore Chief’s loss at the weekend is by no means the end for keen football followers as far as CAF championships are concerned. The fans still have Sundowns and Pirates as credible reasons to track the goings-on in the CAF Champions league.

As far as Orlando Pirates are concerned there are reports that this team may have long travels on the continent especially now that the reported “shock therapy” administered by Serbian coach Micho Sredojevic has sorted out the club’s goal scoring issues.

After this weekend CAF certified a 3-0 win for Pirates over Horoya FC of Guinea which sits in the middle of two other Guineas on the “neck” and bulge on the western side of the continent.

And therefore, on this geographic score we shall, hopefully, also become more acquainted with the continental rock that houses us as Pitso Mosimane’s side travel northwards of Tshwane in pursuit of stamping their authority on continental football.