Just days after Itumeleng Khune was ruled out for the rest of the season, Kaizer Chiefs suffered another blow to their defence ahead of their Premiership clash against AmaZulu on Wednesday.
Lorenzo Gordinho, who returned from a lengthy loan spell at Bloemfontein Celtic recently, sustained a broken hand during a MultiChoice Diski Challenge match at the weekend, and will require surgery.
“It’s unfortunate Lorenzo Gordinho is ruled out with a hand fracture. We are still waiting for Ramahlwe Mphahlele to return to full fitness as well,” Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp told the club’s website on Wednesday.
“We hope to not have Lorenzo out for too long. There’s still a bit of time required to have Joseph Molangoane, Itumeleng Khune, Philani Zulu and Mulomowandau Mathoho return to action.”
While Chiefs pulled off a stunning 2-0 victory in their last league outing against log leaders Wits, they are still smarting from the past weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Zesco United in the Caf Confederation Cup in Zambia.
So, the Amakhosi may not have lost to AmaZulu since 2007, but they won’t be expecting an easy three points at the King Zwelithini Stadium tonight (7.30pm kickoff).
“We have learnt a few lessons from the Caf Confederation Cup match in Zambia. We have seen our weaknesses, and it is in such challenges that you’re able to tune-up your systems,” Middendorp said.
“We attacked well and should we have converted some of the chances – this would’ve resulted in a different score-line. I thought we also scored a legit goal that was disallowed, but that’s all in the past. We are over it, and our minds are on AmaZulu.”
Usuthu have not one a match in 2019, going down 3-2 to Polokwane City, which was followed by a goalless draw with Highlands Park.
Languishing in 12th position with 17 points, Cavin Johnson’s team need to capitalise on home-ground advantage.
“We are here to play a very tricky AmaZulu team,” said Middendorp. “It’s going to be an intense game, but we are focused and ready for them.
“We looked at AmaZulu, especially their recent games at home. They have key players to watch. We have to watch Ntuli (Bongi) and Vilakazi (Nhlanhla), because they can be dangerous if not marked.
“We are seeing lots of improvement in our game. The players are getting the message of what we want to achieve.
“It’s a matter of time that we start seeing a steady but upward movement in our trajectory.”