JOHANNESBURG – Kaizer Chiefs goal-minder, Virgil Vries, has come under fire for the blunder that he committed against Mamelodi Sundowns but former Amakhosi and Orlando Pirates shot-stopper, William Shongwe, is confident that the Namibian can still bounce back and make his name with the Glamour Boys.
Vries’s glaring error proved to be the difference between Amakhosi and the Brazilians. Sundowns won 2-1 in a humdinger at FNB Stadium this past weekend.
It remains to be seen whether Ernst Middendorp will persist with Vries when Amakhosi visits the log leaders, Bidvest Wits, at Bidvest Stadium, tonight at 7.30pm in an Absa Premiership showdown.
Shongwe who was an imperial figure between the sticks for Amakhosi during the 80s offered some words of advice to Vries.
“What happened to Vries is not strange. It has happened to the best in the world. I remember when I joined Chiefs, in my third game against AmaZulu in Durban, I conceded three goals. I had a strong supporting structure that helped me to recover from that game.
“Brian Baloyi also had a howler against Orlando Pirates at the beginning stages of his career with Chiefs but went on to become one of the best goalkeepers. So, these things do happen,” Shongwe explained.
Itumeleng Khune is expected to be out for four months which may rule him out of the season.
“Vries had a howler when he was still with Lamontville Golden Arrows but bounced back. He went on to be the number one goalkeeper for Maritzburg United and Baroka FC before joining Chiefs. He also captained the Namibian national team to a Cosafa Cup victory (in 2017).
“He can still recover from that mistake and make his name at Chiefs.
“He has a nice opportunity to redeem himself against Wits in a big game. This is the best situation for him to wipe out the memories of that Sundowns game. Fans forget quickly,” he added.
Vries started well, keeping clean sheets against SuperSport United, and Elgeco Plus in the Caf Confederation Cup.
“It is a given that losing Khune will be huge. He is certainly a player that makes a difference when he is in the field of play. His command and reputation is one of the things that makes him one of the best.
“He makes the opposition teams think twice when they come up against him. He is a special player. He will be missed. It is a big concern but it can be managed,” Shongwe elaborated.
Chiefs are facing another stern test against Wits. Amakhosi are 12 points behind the leaders. Another defeat for Amakhosi will put their minimal chances of winning the league in serious jeopardy.@Minenhlecr7