Durban — With the season coming to an end soon, there were plenty of talking points from the most recent week of South African football action.
IOL Sport’s Eshlin Vedan takes a look at five of the talking points from this weekend’s action.
Orlando Pirates have lacked class domestically this season but they showed class by recording a 2-0 away win in their CAF Confederation Cup semi-final first leg against Al Ahly Tripoli in Benghazi on Sunday. It is clearly Al Ahly who will have to do the hard work for the return leg in South Africa on Sunday.
The Libyan side will have to win by at least a two goal deficit as away goals still count in African football. Pirates are in the driving seat to reach the final.
Eric Tinkler’s side were rewarded for their recent good form as their 2-0 win over TS Galaxy took them to second place in the league, albeit having a game in hand over third place Royal AM. Royal AM will have to win their game against Golden Arrows on Saturday if they want to reclaim the second spot which could earn them the right to play in next season’s CAF Champions League.
The race for second spot now looks to be a shoot out between City and Royal AM.
Kaizer Chiefs and Sundowns played out to a 1-1 draw on Sunday with Bruce Bvuma and Reyaad Pieterse starting in goals for either side.
With Kennedy Mweene and Denis Onyango nearing the end of their careers, Pieterse proved that he is an apt choice to step into the first-choice goalkeeping position soon by saving a penalty from Keagan Dolly. Bvuma also proved that he is good enough with a solid shift. With Daniel Akpeyi linked with a potential move away from Chiefs in the near future and Itumeleng Khune being past his prime, Bvuma could be the logical choice to install as Chiefs’ first-choice goalie.
There are just two points that separate last place Baroka FC from second last Swallows FC. Last place consigns one to automatic relegation to the GladAfrica Championship with second last consigning a team to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) relegation/promotion playoffs.
There are also just four points that separate Swallows from 12th place Maritzburg United. We could be still in for twists and turns as we approach the end of the season with Maritzburg, Chippa United and TS Galaxy all not completely safe from the drop.
AmaZulu played out to a 0-0 draw with Sekhukhune on Saturday and could have won the game had it not been for a world-class first half save from Toaster Nsabata who kept out Tapelo Xoki’s effort from a corner.
AmaZulu have been on a resurgence since Brandon Truter succeeded Benni McCarthy on an interim basis. Usuthu have not only moved back into the top eight but have won three out of the five games in which the ex-Swallows FC boss has been in charge.
Could Truter be the man to succeed McCarthy on a permanent basis?