JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs have renewed confidence heading into their final game of the Absa Premiership season as they look to secure third spot and entry into next season’s Caf Confederation Cup.
Amakhosi face Ajax Cape Town in the last fixture this season at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (start at 3pm).
“The win against Maritzburg at the weekend will give us confidence going into the Ajax game,” coach Patrick Mabedi said. “It’s our objective to fight for third position and qualify for the Confederation Cup.
“But Ajax have a good side and they are fighting to survive relegation. We will plan to go out there, be professional and do our job. It will be a tough game, but we are definitely eying third spot.”
Chiefs are third on the log on 45 points, Maritzburg are fourth on 43. Chiefs, however, have a goal difference of just four against Maritzburg’s 13.
Therefore if Chiefs draw and Maritzburg win, third goes to Maritzburg - so Chiefs have to win.
“It’s important that we bounced back,” Mabedi said after the 2-0 win over Maritzburg United on Saturday afternoon.
“We have been through difficult times, but everything went according to our plans on Saturday."
Mabedi admitted that taking over as the interim coach wasn’t easy. “You have to be mentally strong. However, when I was still playing and captaining the club, you had to be mentally strong as well. So I am prepared.”
The interim coach also changed the system, from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2. “The system depends on the opponents,” he reflected, “we thought that the 4-4-2 system could help us against Maritzburg United and it worked out nicely.”
Sibusiso Khumalo made his first start this season at left-back, while Edmore Chirambadare came on as a substitute in the second half, which was for the first time since the end of October 2017.
“We played back-to-back games,” Mabedi said. “We decided to give some players a break. Sibusiso and Edmore did well.”
Overall, the whole team delivered a spirited performance, including George Maluleka who was fighting hard in midfield, winning balls and providing the assist for Dumsani Zuma’s goal in the second half.
Gustavo Páez had given Chiefs the lead in the first half. However, it was the young defender Siyabonga Ngezana who was awarded the Man-of-the-Match.
African News Agency (ANA)