JOHANNESBURG – In simple terms, two goals and a clean sheet will be enough to take Kaizer Chiefs through to the group stage of the Caf Confederations Cup.
And Virgil Vries, the man who’ll be between the sticks when Chiefs welcome Zesco United to FNB Stadium on Saturday (8pm) in their pursuit of overturning a 3-1 deficit from the first leg, is confident they’ll be able to achieve that feat.
“Although we are already three goals behind, it’s a different ball-game now, but it’s good that we managed to score in Zambia,” Vries said.
“For us at the back, the most important thing we have to do is to keep a clean-sheet. The longer we keep a clean-sheet, the better (are our chances of qualifying for the group stage).
“We just have to go back to the previous games, where we kept clean-sheets and apply the same hunger and desire.”
Conceding five goals in the last three matches might be a lot to take in, but Vries’ ability to dust himself off and keep his head high after a bad day has tipped him as a suitable candidate to fill the void left by the injured Itumeleng Khune, for now.
Earlier this month, in his first real test in the club colours, Vries cost the team as he misjudged a simple catch from a long ball by Lyle Lakay, which resulted in Lebohang Maboe pouncing on the mistake to hand Mamelodi Sundowns a 2-1 victory in an Premiership encounter.
“What made it easier for me to bounce back was the club,” Vries said as he reflected on his new-found confidence since that howler.
“I had an opportunity to go back and look at the clip, because I had a choice to see and learn from mistakes or go back into my shell, and forget the purpose that I am here for.
“I had to step up and continue to look at the positive things that I’ve done.”
Vries might be the man who must keep Zesco’s potent attack at bay, but Chiefs’ forwards also have to bring their scoring boots if they are to advance to the group stage.
Next Kaizer Chiefs Match: Kaizer Chiefs vs. Zesco United FC, Saturday 19 January 2019, FNB Stadium, 20h00. Tickets on sale at Computicket/Shoprite/Checkers outlets for R40.#CAFCC #HailTheChief #KCAfrica4Life #KCOneAfrica pic.twitter.com/0vu7vzMrsW— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) January 18, 2019
Furthermore, progressing will also put the speculations that Chiefs do not take the competition seriously to bed.
“We need to start on the front foot, and send a message that we are here to do the business,” stand-in captain Willard Katsande said.
“We need to do everything in our power to get an early goal because that will settle our nerves. It also very important that we are playing at home, hence we need to show them our arrogance.
“This will also show that the Kaizer Chiefs team they played against in Zambia in front of their supporters is different to who they are playing here.”@Mihlalibaleka