Premiership top-eight race heats up as Kaizer Chiefs try to hold on

Kaizer Chiefs coaches Cavin Johnson (right) and Dillon Sheppard will hope that their team can secure a top-eight spot. Photo: BackpagePix

Kaizer Chiefs coaches Cavin Johnson (right) and Dillon Sheppard will hope that their team can secure a top-eight spot. Photo: BackpagePix

Published May 10, 2024



The Premier Soccer League is heading to the business end, and with Mamelodi Sundowns once again brushing aside all comers and still undefeated, the race for the top eight promises to entertain.

Two points separate eighth-placed Kaizer Chiefs from 12th-placed AmaZulu, with all five teams from eighth to 12th having played 27 matches.

It could turn out to be a classic case of reaping what you sow, as it could come down to goal difference...

Kaizer Chiefs: Eighth, 34 points

Final three fixtures: AmaZulu (away), Polokwane City (home), Cape Town Spurs (away)

Kaizer Chiefs’ 2-2 draw against TS Galaxy on Wednesday and inconsistent form have left their top-eight ambitions hanging by a thread.

They find themselves needing maximum points, with only a two-point advantage over their next opponents, AmaZulu.

Every fixture will virtually be a final, with any slip-up carrying heavy consequences for Cavin Johnson’s team.

— Kaizer Chiefs (@KaizerChiefs) May 7, 2024

Polokwane City: Ninth, 34 points

Final three fixtures: Sekhukhune United (H), Kaizer Chiefs (A), TS Galaxy (H)

Polokwane City squandered a golden opportunity to move two points clear of Chiefs when they were held to a 0-0 draw by relegation-threatened Richards Bay on Wednesday.

With three tough fixtures to come against sides above them, they may have run their race, with a top-eight finish well out of reach.

Golden Arrows: 10th, 33 points

Final three fixtures: Chippa United (H), Cape Town Spurs (H), AmaZulu (A)

Steve Komphela and his Golden Arrows team held champions Mamelodi Sundowns to a 0-0 draw on Wednesday. Abafana Bes’thende had Sundowns’ unbeaten streak in the palm of their hands, but would have been happy to walk away with a point that kept them in the hunt for a top-eight finish.

Komphela, in his post-match interview, admitted that they threw away a golden opportunity, especially after a Mosa Lebusa 46th-minute red card, but targeted the 40-point mark as enough to make the top eight.

Chippa United: 11th, 32 points

Final three fixtures: Golden Arrows (A), Royal AM (A), Sekhukhune United (H)

The Chilli Boys are wounded following a double strike by Orlando Pirates, who knocked them out of the Nedbank Cup and further dented their confidence with a 2-0 league defeat on Wednesday.

All is not lost for the Eastern Cape side, though, as they still have their fate in their hands. They have a superior goal difference in comparison to the other four competitors, and it might work in their favour as things get tighter.

AmaZulu: 12th, 32 points

Final three fixtures: Kaizer Chiefs (H), Sekhukhune United (A), Golden Arrows (H)

Usuthu have managed to get just three points out of a possible nine in their past three matches. Their next fixture against Chiefs will be vital, as a loss could see them fall five points behind the Amakhosi and potentially end their challenge for the top eight – but a win could blow it wide open for everyone concerned.