CAPE TOWN – Virtually hounded out of Kaizer Chiefs, Steve Komphela will be wearing a smile on the inside and out ahead of facing his former team on August 29.
That’s the big day when the Amakhosi host Bloemfontein Celtic at the FNB Stadium.
And this time around, Chiefs are the bottom club, as Phunya Sele Sele are the ones with a 100 percent start to the Absa Premiership after three matches.
Consecutive 2-0 wins over Chippa United and Golden Arrows was one thing, but the big test came against last season’s runners-up Orlando Pirates on Sunday – and Komphela’s men delivered.
Bongani Sam scored a first-half winner with a bicycle kick, with coach Komphela’s defensive organisation keeping the marauding Pirates at bay in the second half.
Celtic are second on the log, with nine points out of three games, having scored five goals and conceded none. They are second only to Wits, who have the same number of points and goal difference after four matches, but have scored seven times.
And this is despite all the upheaval at Celtic, with talk of salaries not being paid, ownership possibly changing anytime soon and defender Lorenzo Gordinho being summonsed back to Naturena.
Compare that to Chiefs… With new coach Giovanni Solinas as a replacement for Komphela, they have yet to register a win in the league – three draws and a defeat in four games places them in 12th position with three points.
At least they are still alive in the MTN8, where they will take on SuperSport United in the first leg semi-final on Sunday at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.
And their next league game is against Celtic next week Wednesday – a showdown with their old coach Komphela.
Chiefs were unable to break down Maritzburg United last Friday despite the Team of Choice being reduced to 10 men for the last 75 minutes, after Siphesihle Ndlovu was sent off.
What does that say about the Amakhosi’s attack, despite the presence of Khama Billiat, Leonardo Castro, Ryan Moon and Bernard Parker in the starting line-up?
While it was time for Komphela to leave Chiefs after he failed to win a trophy in three seasons, he insisted afterwards that he was building a team that could challenge for silverware this season.
Following the riots at Moses Mabhida Stadium after the 2-0 Nedbank Cup defeat to Free State Stars, Chiefs management had little choice but to let Komphela go.
However, Bobby Motaung and Co may now be missing their former coach, considering the difficulties that Amakhosi are experiencing at the moment…@ashfakmohamed