Virgil Vries will have to be at his best if Chiefs are going to advance in the Confederation Cup. BackpagePix
Kaizer Chiefs defender Teenage Hadebe, is convinced that their 3-1 defeat to Zesco United FC in the first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup group stage qualifiers was a lesson which will help them prevail when the two teams meet in the return leg at FNB Stadium today (8pm kick-off).

Chiefs trail the Zambian giants by two goals, but their away strike was vital as they now need at least two goals and a clean sheet to advance to the group stage round.

“For me, playing in Africa is easy because I am used to it with the Zimbabwean national team,” Hadebe said.

“The last time, (Siphosakhe) Ntiya-Ntiya was asked what is it like to play in Africa, he said, ‘Ah Bra, let’s just go and play but (I think) it’s tough’.

“Sometimes referees are also not fair because the last time there, they disallowed us a clear goal.

“But I am sure everyone has gained confidence and are used to playing in Africa now. So we have to go win and advance to the group stages.”

Chiefs’ primary concern is keeping clean sheets.

In four matches this year, they’ve only kept one, while conceding seven goals in the other three matches.

Furthermore, the loss of first-choice goalkeeper and club captain Itumeleng Khune to a long-term injury has made it easier for the Amakhosi faithful to criticise their defensive loopholes.

Stand-in keeper Virgil Vries didn’t make it any easier for himself either, as he cost the team three points in his first real test at the club, against Sundowns.

Vries looked to have resurrected himself in the next game against Wits as he kept a clean sheet, but that was easier said than done as he conceded five goals in the next two games.

“I am sure that Virgil is a good goalkeeper because he is the one that’s communicating at the back,” Hadebe said.

“I know that some of the people are starting to blame Virgil (for the mistakes) but he’s a good goalkeeper because how he performed against Black Leopards (in the Telkom Knockout) was outstanding).

@MihlaliBaleka


Saturday Star

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