Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

DURBAN – Kaizer Chiefs are not trivialising the Caf Confederation Cup.

But at the same time, they don’t want to get ahead of themselves, coach Ernst Middendorp told the media after beating Elgeco Plus of Madagascar 3-0 in Durban in the first leg of the first round.

Philani Zulu and Leonardo Castro were on the score-sheet for Amakhosi, with the Colombian talisman notching up a brace to hand Amakhosi a commanding lead ahead of their trip to Madagascar on Saturday.

Chiefs have under-achieved in continental tournaments in the past, which has created the notion that they trivialise the Caf competitions.

Middendorp doesn’t want to look too far ahead, but emphasised the importance of this cup.

“We came in three or four days ago and we prepared for the game in Nelspruit, and then we came back and it is the next step.

“If I start now thinking about January, February, March or whatever, then I have a problem. I don’t have time to come in and manage it now.

“I’m only thinking about the next game. I have the target of qualifying for the next round. This is a very important cup competition for us. We want to go as far as possible,” Middendorp said.

Chiefs are three games away from reaching the group stages. Their last triumph in the continent was back in 2001 under the tutelage of Muhsin Ertugral, when they captured the African Cup Winner’s Cup.

Amakhosi are the only side without an Caf Champions League star of the big three in South African football.

Orlando Pirates attained their star in 1995, while Mamelodi Sundowns achieved theirs in 2016.

Even if Amakhosi go all the way in the Confederation Cup, they won’t be able to add the star to their badge.

“We have already tried to manage ourselves from game to game. This side is well structured and well organised. They gave us difficult times.

“We had to work hard. We had some moments to score (more goals) earlier. We are happy that we scored three goals, at the end of the day,” he added.

Chiefs should be able to wrap up the game with ease on Saturday in Madagascar, but they will know that they can’t afford to be complacent.

Amakhosi were stunned by Zimamoto of Zanzibar in the second leg of the preliminary round, but progressed 5-2 on aggregate. They had trounced Zimamoto 4-0 at home and lost 2-1 away.

“We have to produce results. That’s the way to bring back happiness. Obviously I have to try to be a nice person. I feel that at the moment, we are working it out with the results,” Middendorp elaborated.

Chiefs have enjoyed a sparkling start to the second tenure of Middendorp, winning both of the matches without conceding a goal.

Amakhosi got the better of SuperSport United midweek in the league, before thumping Elgeco Plus 3-0.


The Mercury

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