Kaizer Chiefs’ form may cost them their Caf Super League place

Kaizer Chiefs could miss out on a place in the CAF Super League. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs could miss out on a place in the CAF Super League. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Published Aug 16, 2022


Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs’ spectacular fall from grace may play into the hands of CAF, who are faced with a dilemma since the whole of the African continent is crying out for their teams to be included in the cash-flushed CAF Super League (CSL).

When the Super League was first mooted, there was a strong case for three South African sides to be included because of their history and the current playing strength of Mamelodi Sundowns.

Orlando Pirates have already won the Champions League, and over the years Chiefs have fostered a huge following on the continent.

These days, however, Chiefs are a pale shadow of the team that was hero-worshipped around Africa.

Over the weekend, Amakhosi suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Sundowns, who have won the Premiership five times on the trot.

Chiefs last won a title back in 2015 under coach Stuart Baxter and since then their best finish was a runners-up slot three seasons ago.

Last season Chiefs secured eighth place by the skin of their teeth.

Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane feels the solution will be an additional striker, a typical No 9. He felt the team was hamstrung ahead of the Sundowns match at Loftus Versveld after striker Ashley du Preez was forced to withdraw at the 11th hour.

The other central strikers, like Siyethemba Sithebe, Sibusiso Milazi and Kgaogelo Sekgota, are not in the same mould as Du Preez, who has the pace to pose problems for opposition defences.

Zwane has also preferred to play Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly in the midfield, where they are used to spark the attack and then drift into striking roles.

Whereas some teams have midweek matches, Chiefs will have a break until Saturday night when they face unbeaten rookies Richards Bay at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban and given their poor form, they cannot be looking forward to playing the Natal Rich Boyz.

What will really bother the fans is how easily Chiefs were brushed aside by Sundowns, who a few days earlier suffered defeat at the hands of lowly TS Galaxy.

Zwane has not lost heart and has assured the fans that the team is still growing as a unit. He continues to promise much, and he will again be in the spotlight in Durban.

As Chiefs look to bounce back from the embarrassing loss, their heaviest defeat in a Premiership game, Zwane will have to make a call on the team’s No 1 goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma. He is hopelessly out of form and Zwane may do well to consider other options.

At this stage, Siyabonga Ngezana, a twice capped Bafana Bafana defender, should also be made to play his way back into form. He was rightly blamed for Sundowns’ first two goals, which Zwane described as “mana from heaven”, and substituted at half-time.