Amakhosi ready to put Pirates to the sword
JOHANNESBURG – The name isn’t as catchy as the CBD. At best, it’s a lazy attempt at mimicking the deadliest attacking trio to grace South African football in recent years.
But the CBN has two-thirds of the CBD that terrorised defenders in Mamelodi Sundowns’ brightest hour, when the club won the Absa Premiership with a record number of points and also lifted the 2016 CAF Champions League.
At the heart of that success was the much-feared CBD, made up of Leonardo Castro, Khama Billiat and Keagan Dolly.
The trio has since departed Sundowns. Dolly went to France where he now calls Montpellier home. Billiat and Castro made a short trek from Chloorkop to Naturena to join Kaizer Chiefs, where they have been joined by Samir Nurkovic, who completes the new trio whose name needs some work. But what doesn’t need work is their understanding and goal return.
The three forwards have been key in Chiefs’ bright start to the season. Nurkovic comes with his tireless work rate, while Castro has brilliant positioning and ability to draw defenders and Billiat brings his brilliance. It’s a match made in football heaven.
The trio will be salivating at the prospect of coming up against an understrength Orlando Pirates defence tomorrow at FNB Stadium, a week after they eliminated Bucs in the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals.
Pirates’ captain Happy Jele and rightback Mthokozisi Dube are suspended for the encounter. The club’s defence was already leaky, forcing coach Rhulani Mokwena to make a number of changes at the back for and the goalkeeping department.
The 13 goals they have conceded makes them the joint-second worst defence in the league. Chiefs on the other hand have the second-best goal return in the league.
“The instruction from the coach is clear, we have to move into the spaces as the strikers,” Castro said.
“As strikers we need to be calm when we have the ball at our feet and take the right decisions. There is a long way go for me and Samir to know each other. In training sessions, we are doing the right things on the field to prepare ourselves for the games.
“With Khama, I have known him for a long time. We know each other well. We can close our eyes and play together. It’s easy to play with those two guys because they know how to play.”
The understanding and the work rate that these three put together isn’t the only thing that makes them a deadly attack. The players who are behind them also push them.
Dumisani Zuma’s brace against Chippa United on Wednesday will give coach Ernst Middendorp a good headache of which attacker to choose against Pirates and there’s also the veteran Bernard Parker...
Honest work rate, determination and fighting spirit is what drives this Chiefs team. Those traits can be found in every department, not just in the attacking trio.