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Date: 27 May 2019

  South African - Soccer

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Chiefs' well-oiled machines tops ABSA PSL

[Posted 27 Sep 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Chiefs" two weapons of mass destruction-Nkatha and Parker
South Africa's Glamour Boys Kaizer Chiefs are currently top of the rich ABSA Premier Soccer League following their clinical  3-1 league win over home team Bidvest Wits on Monday night, and now sit on 13 points, but Orlando Pirates are slowly fighting their way back which sees the defending champions lie second on 10 points.

After narrowly defeating Black Leopards 2-1 at the Soccer City in a replayed league match last week, Chiefs made a statement of their superiority over opponents this season and gave a good entertaining display at Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga on Monday.

Bernard Parker is the in-form goal scorer for the fluid Chiefs machine these days, BUT he will be the first to admit that he has been a beneficiary of the great team effort and collectivity scintillating form of the Amakhosi.

For example, Parker has benefited from the impressive work-rate of strike-partner  Kingston Nkatha whose running off the ball, incisive distribution and the pressure he exerts on defenders gives Parker acres of space to score.

Defenders' attention appears to be directed to Nkatha who is always a thorn in the flesh for many defences in the PSL this season. His big frame, close ball control, speed and aggression will never make any defender at ease in his presence, and that leaves Parker and other players with scoring opportunities.

  charts-topping seven goals are a good testimony to the fact that Chiefs are a well oiled machine!

More important than the fact that Nkatha is a handful to defenders is Chiefs' great transitional play, and effective counter attacking football. In this regard, of importance is Itumeleng Khune's good ball distribution, Reneilwe Letsholonyane's incisive passing and Siphiwe Tshabalala's attacking abilities.

Then there are those darting runs of young George Lebese! Oh, the boy is a joy to watch when he slips his way into the box. He is more than one for the future. He is definitely a gem already, BUT he needs to keep his feet on the ground as there is still a lot for him to learn.

Young Lebese still needs guidance to avoid over cooking his meal, and learn to release the ball on time if necessary. He is not the only one guilty of this. Even Shabba tends to hold onto the ball a little longer than is necessary, and can be a bit selfish, opting to take a crack at goal when he should be passing it on to a team mate in a better scoring position. 

Yet, a bit of doing something out of the ordinary is what makes great players. Lebese and Shabba cannot therefore be entirely blamed for putting their confidence into practice!

Chiefs appear to be enjoying depth as well.

In defence, Tefu Mashamaite and Jimmy Jambo have been impressive thus far this season. Even in the absence of the injured Morgan Gould and at times when Eric "Tower" Mathoho is not available, Tefu has combined well with Lincoln Zvasiya in the heart of the Aakhosi defence.

In midfield, Willard Katsande is showing signs that he can really make the holding position at Chiefs his own, allowing Yeye to push forward and creating real opportunities for the strikers. Letsholonyane is good at creating chances for other players in the Chiefs team. Katsande will therefore prove crucial for Chiefs this season in this regard.

BUT, Chiefs must never rest on their laurels. They have to be wary of a Pirates backlash. The Buccaneers did not have the best of starts to the season. With De Sa's appointment, the players' morale appears to be looking up and their fortunes are fast changing.

There is no doubting the quality in that Bucs team. The defence has a rock in the form of Siyabonga Sangweni, an often underrated player who has a point to prove after being overlooked for Footballer of the Season following a storming season where he helped Pirates to another trebble under Augusto Palacious.

Many other players in Pirates' squad have a lot to prove. Andile Jali has to prove that the selectors were wrong in not selecting him as the best player in the league in the past two seasons. Manyisa wants to prove he is the Iniesta of South Africa.

Attacking midfielder Sifiso Myeni has the talent to be the best player in South Africa and he is eager to prove to all and sundry that he did not make a mistake by opting Pirates over Mamelodi Sundowns.

New signing Zimbabwean striker Takesure Chinyama has a point to prove too! He was booed by the Ghosts' fans in his first match at Mbombela, maybe understandably so because honestly he showed rustiness.

Chinyama was also booed by the same section of fans on Tuesday, and this time completely unfairly so, and he had to prove his quality by scoring a cracker of a goal.

"Chiny", as he was affectionately known by the legions of Legia Warsaw in Poland, was a top scoring striker in the Polish top division, the Ekstraklasa for two successive seasons before injury put paid to his great scoring form. He wants to prove that he brings this quality to the Pirates squad

With Pirates on second, the ABSA premiership is set for an intriguing season, and even Chiefs are not guaranteed winning the R1.5 million for the first 8 games of the season. After five matches they lead Pirates by just three points. A lot can change in just a match or two.

The title race is not necessarily down to Chiefs and Pirates. Maritzburg United remain undefeated in the league at 9 points, and so is University of Pretoria and they are definitely within shouting distance.


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