Leonardo Castro has the ability to draw defenders.
Leonardo Castro has the ability to draw defenders.
Khama Billiat brings his brilliance.
Khama Billiat brings his brilliance.
Pretoria - The name isn’t as catchy as CBD. At best, it’s a lazy attempt at mimicking the deadliest attacking trio to grace South African football in recent years.

But the CBN, which sounds more like a news channel than an attacking force, has 75% of the CBD that terrorised defenders in Mamelodi Sundowns’ brightest hour, where the club won the PSL title with a record number of points and also lifted the 2016 Caf Champions League. At the heart of that success was the much-feared CBD, made up of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly.

The trio have since departed Sundowns. Dolly went to France where he now calls Montpellier home, while Billiat and Castro made the short trek from Chloorkop to Naturena to join Kaizer Chiefs where they have been joined by Samir Nurkovic who completes the new trio. While their name needs work, what doesn’t is their understanding and goal return.

The three forwards have been key in Chiefs’ bright start to the season. Nurkovic comes with a tireless work rate, Castro has brilliant positioning and the ability to draw defenders, while Billiat brings his brilliance. It’s a match made in football heaven.

The trio will be salivating at the prospect of coming up against an understrength Orlando Pirates defence tomorrow at FNB Stadium, a week after they eliminated Bucs in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals.

Pirates captain Happy Jele and right-back Mthokozisi Dube are suspended for tomorrow’s encounter. The club’s defence was already leaky, forcing coach Rhulani Mokwena to make a number of changes in the back four and the goalkeeping department. The 13 goals they have conceded this season makes them the joint-second worst defence in the league. Chiefs on the other hand have the second-best goal return, and that’s largely thanks to Castro, Billiat and Nurkovic.

“The instruction from the coach is clear, we have to move into the spaces as the strikers,” Castro said. “As strikers we need to be calm when we have the ball at our feet and take the right decisions. There is a long way (to) go for me and Samir to know each other. In training sessions, we are doing the right things in the field to prepare ourselves for the games. With Khama, I have known him for a long time. We know each other well. We can close our eyes and play together. It’s easy to play with those two guys because they know how to play.”

The understanding and the work rate that these three forwards put together isn’t the only thing that makes them a deadly attack. The players who are behind them also push them. Dumisani Zuma’s brace against Chippa United in the league on Wednesday will give coach Ernst Middendorp a good headache of which attacker to choose against Pirates. There’s also veteran Bernard Parker who has played almost everywhere, giving his all in those different positions.

An honest work rate, determination and fighting spirit is what drives this Chiefs team. Those traits can be found in every department, not just the attacking trio that needs a catchier name than what they currently have.

Pretoria News