JOHANNESBURG – With the belief that by the end of January the difference between championship contenders and pretenders will be clearer, Steve Komphela has urged Kaizer Chiefs to bridge the gap and eventually overtake Mamelodi Sundowns.
Amakhosi trail the Brazilians by five points with 13 matches remaining in the PSL. While the Brazilians dropped points on Saturday, Chiefs made some ground thanks to a 2-1 win over Polokwane City at FNB Stadium. That come-from-behind win washed down the cake they ate on 7 January in the club’s 48th birthday celebration. It also helped Komphela reach his milestone in style of 100 games in charge at Amakhosi.
“The league race is still open,” Komphela said. “You could easily say game on, and not only to us but everyone. Sundowns are still in with a shot. Orlando Pirates have created an opportunity. There are still a lot of matches to play.
“A win is great for your people and staying within the pack. But it was an important win for us. It’s good that we are five points behind. We still need to kill at least two other matches, you can’t hope that Sundowns will lose two games. You have to concentrate on yourself, keep on pushing and pushing and then hope that you can catch and pass them. The league is going to be difficult.
“There is going to be three or four teams that can easily compete When we were busy training in December, we didn’t close, we looked at the schedule and saw that chances are by the end of January it will be clear who is who in the zoo.”
Chiefs’ next assignment is a visit to the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday to take on Baroka FC. The surroundings will be familiar for Siphelele Ntshangase who joined Amakhosi from Bakgaga’s rivals Black Leopards. The lad from Phongola in KwaZulu-Natal delivered on his promise of supplying champagne passes in the club’s win over Rise and Shine.
Those who don’t know him well thought he was being arrogant. But it was confidence from a player who has always believed in his talent, going as far as to say that when he returns home it feels like the president is in town such is the fanfare that surrounds him.
“Everybody has seen a bit of what he can give,” Komphela said about Ntshangase. “In terms of game intelligence, you can see that he is someone who thinks. He fits the profile of a No 10. What he says, you can see (that he can back it up). There’s an attempt he made (for a pass to Dumisani Zuma).
“There was no space on the sides and in front. The only space that was available was just above. And he did just that, chipping the ball over the defenders. It doesn’t happen too often that when there is no space anywhere on the park, you find space above. We hope that there’ll be more of that.
“With regards to arrogance, there’s a very fine line between arrogance and confidence. Sometime when you portray your own confidence and pronounce it, it comes across as arrogance. But it is nice to have sports people with that level of confidence.”