Chiefs, City lose ground as Sundowns surge on

IF KAIZER Chiefs are serious about challenging firm favourites and log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns,Picture: Gallo Images

IF KAIZER Chiefs are serious about challenging firm favourites and log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns for the Absa Premiership title this season, they will have to win big matches.

But Steve Komphela’s team seem to be struggling in that department after they recorded a second successive draw, this time against defending champions Bidvest Wits, that makes the battle of catching up with the Brazilians an uphill one.

Pitso Mosimane’s side made things easier for themselves when they narrowly edged out Cape Town City at the Athlone Stadium on Friday night and that result forced Chiefs to win to be able to keep up.

Chiefs’ 1-1 draw with Wits, which came as a result of their former striker, Lehlohonolo Majoro, scoring a header to cancel out Ryan Moon’s opener saw them slip to fourth on the log with 31 points.

They are now on equal footing with fifth placed City, while Orlando Pirates, who have played a game more than all teams in the top five, are second with 33 points, five less than Sundowns. Chiefs coach Komphela lamented the draw in the context that they need all the points on offer to catch up with Sundowns, especially since their game with Sundowns two weeks ago also ended in a draw.

“The feeling is worse than a loss. A draw that you honestly did not have to play to. The manner in which we conceded, we can’t defend a basic cross and you know Bidvest will be looking to bring crosses into the box. If it happens, it happens but we could have done better. There is no reason the ball should find Majoro unmarked there,” Komphela said.

“I’m just angry that we lost the match at a time when you want every point. We won’t value the point that much because we could have won that game. “There were stages where I thought we were getting desperate, instead of just being calm and taking our chances. The minute you are in a rush, the process won’t come through.”

Things are not about to get better for Chiefs in the league as they have a tough fixture against Cape Town City waiting after the Nedbank Cup begins in the middle of the week.

There is also a big Soweto Derby with Orlando Pirates on the first weekend of the next month, making the next three matches that includes a home tie with Bloemfontein Celtic vitally important. On the other hand, Sundowns could stretch the lead even further when they return to PSL action with a home fixture against Free State Stars at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in two weeks time.

Mosimane’s side will hope that Khama Billiat and Percy Tau keep up their red-hot form that has seen them collect points that are slowly taking them closer to the title they lost to Wits last season.