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Komphela keen to avoid the accolades

PSL
JOHANNESBURG - If ever there was a man too humble, it’s Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela.

But, sadly, this is a trait that doesn’t quite score you brownie points in this line of work. Instead of basking in the glory of a first win for Amakhosi over Mamelodi Sundowns since his arrival at Naturena in June 2015, the Chiefs mentor acknowledged the significance of emerging triumphant in such a match, but hardly took the credit.

In contrast, Pitso Mosimane, his Downs opposite number, had more worthy sound bites despite the fact that the Brazilians had again dropped points at a crucial stage of the Absa Premiership title chase.

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Steve Komphela, coach of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates a victory during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 match between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

“It’s not about me,” said Komphela of the 2-1 victory over Downs at FNB Stadium on Saturday night, a result that pushed Amakhosi to second place on the league table with eight games remaining.

A big deal that the coach somehow missed the opportunity to gloat about. In fact, Komphela looked almost as deflated as losing coach Mosimane at their compulsory post-match press conference.

“It’s a clear message that we want to compete and by virtue of being who we are at Chiefs, you just have to be on top,” said Komphela.

“To be honest, I hear and read what is being said and I always ask myself whether it’s about me or the brand. Even after a result like this, I had never in my life chased any personal glory.

"If you are a man on a mission or a man working for an institution, it is not about your personal glory. With this victory, I am happy for the supporters, that is our mission.”

Mosimane on the other hand praised his players for a solid performance despite several of them returning late and carrying knocks from international duty earlier in the week.

The Downs coach even singled out defender Soumahoro Bangaly, who scored an own goal to hand Chiefs the second and winning goal, as one of the stand-out players in the match until the 78th minute blunder.

“In my opinion we should have won this game because we dominated and created a lot of chances,” Mosimane explained.

“I don’t think our loss is our last hope or last chance of winning the title. This was not a title decider. It’s a long way still.

"At the moment the league table is false. It has to be normal again where everyone has played the same number of matches (Downs have four games in hand). We have been dropping points and that will test our character.

"But I could have also played (first-choice keeper) Denis Onyango if I thought this would decide the title because he is back from injury. But we still have time.”

That was Mosimane succeeding in downgrading the Chiefs victory to junk status, and Komphela doing very little to contradict him.

“A win gave us three points and puts pressure on the opposition, but the current top five shows the beauty of the PSL,” the Amakhosi coach said.

“Sometimes we don’t pass on compliments to the brand and we focus on things that would be more sensational.

"There has been some great football played and the top five still don’t know who is going to win the championship.

"Would you want a Real Madrid and Barcelona situation where it’s clear who is going to win the title or five challengers? I say let it be five.”

The Star

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