Steve Komphela coach of Kaizer Chiefs Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG – Steve Komphela said it three times to emphasise the point of how much he believes Kaizer Chiefs are still in the Absa Premiership race, even though they dropped two points in Polokwane.

The points that Chiefs lost in the 2-2 draw with Baroka FC at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday could have taken them to second place. But Amakhosi remain in fourth, three points behind log leaders Cape Town City.

Chiefs and the Citizens have failed to make the most of their advantage of not playing on the continent, unlike Bidvest Wits, SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns, who continued their continental duties this past weekend.

If these three clubs win their games in hand, they will overtake Chiefs and the Capetonians on the log in a five-horse league race.

“No! No! No! We are still in it. I only concentrate on us. I don’t look at somebody else’s activities. Those who are better qualified can form their own opinion. Me, I am standing where I am,” Komphela said.

The coach admitted though that it was worrying that the club dropped vital points, especially at this stage in the final stretch, even though they have gone nine games without a loss.

It’s the four draws in that run that hampered their progress up the log. It’s the same thing with Matsatsantsa a Pitori, who are on a 19-match unbeaten run. That run includes 10 draws.

City also dropped points in their goalless draw with Bloemfontein Celtic. These dropped points have made this a tight league race as Wits and Sundowns have also not been consistent.

“There are still a lot of games to play,” Komphela, pictured, said. “It’s only that you don’t want to drop points at a crucial time when everyone wants three points.

“The league is coming to an end. It’s crunch time. Every point counts. But these three points (against Baroka) were very important us.”

The league will take a pause because of the international break. Chiefs will resume their campaign against the Brazilians on Saturday next week.

Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs tries to get away from Baroka’s Victor Letsoalo. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

Sundowns will be keen to kick-start their league defence after they booked a place in the group stage of the Caf Champions League that they’re also defending.

Wits’ coach Gavin Hunt argued that Sundowns have an advantage in the league race because of the four games in hand they have over leaders Cape Town City.

“That’s Gavin Hunt. I am a very professional person. I don’t comment about others. I would rather comment to them and not about them. If they have comments about us, good for them. But if we have something to share, we will share it with them,” Komphela said.

“You can’t go into a give up mode just because we drew. We still have matches to play.

“It would be very naïve of us to think that the league is gone. We never give up.”

What should make the finish exciting is that the top five teams still have to play against each other. Chiefs’ last nine games include hosting Sundowns, visiting the Citizens and Matsatsantsa before ending their campaign at home against the Clever Boys.

Those games will go a long way in deciding the destination of the league. Sundowns, SuperSport and Wits’ advantage is that they are led by men who have won the league before in Pitso Mosimane, Stuart Baxter and Hunt. Komphela and Eric Tinkler are still searching for their first league titles in their coaching careers.

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The Star