S'Busiso Mseleku

Chiefs offer rivals a glimmer of hope

2015-02-13 10:10
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

"Life does have these little ironies," that is to steal - no, make that borrow - a line from one of South Africa's top writers Duma ka Ndlovu.

As the Absa Premiership returned to action this week, clubs (or more specifically players) seemed to heed South Africans' call for more goals. For a long time there has been complaints about a lack of goals in the domestic league.

But on Tuesday, defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns responded with great aplomb scoring four against former Soweto giants Moroka Swallows who only replied once.

This gave the supporters at the venue a feast of five goals.

Strikers in the other two fixtures on the day were not goal-shy either as they found the net three times in each with the University of Pretoria and Bidvest Wits beating their opponents Chippa United and Maritzburg United, respectively, by similar 2-1 margins.

This saw the day yield good tidings of 11 goals in three matches.

Wednesday night was not bad either as it also produced a similar number of goals from five matches.

However, the irony was that champions-elect Kaizer Chiefs, who have opened at wide gap at the top, played to a goalless draw in their much-anticipated encounter against Bloemfontein Celtic.

The irony that Amakhosi's bitter rivals Orlando Pirates came back from a goal down to beat AmaZulu 2-1 away, will not be missed by many as well. This was thanks to the Lehlohonolo Majoro-Kermit Erasmus combination that started the season with a bang and seemed to continue from where they left off after the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations-induced break.

Sundowns and Wits' victories saw them reduce Chiefs' lead to 12 points but Amakhosi increased it by a point the following day. They are second and third respectively on the log. The Brazilians still have a game in hand as they have played 18.

Pirates are now 18 points behind Chiefs as they still have to reach the 30 point mark of which they are just a single point shy.

Depending on which side of the fence you sit, Chiefs' away goalless draw can be regarded as a point gained or two points dropped.

Some might even read this result as a slight opening for Sundowns. The big question is: Will Chiefs now start pressing panic buttons and remember what happened last season or will this spur them on to avoid that catastrophe.

Just a reminder, Chief were at one stage 13 points clear of Sundowns at the top last season.

It is now history that Bafana Ba'style slashed that gap and ended up bring the bacon home, by a single point to pip Chiefs to the title.

Can history repeat itself?

Kaizer Chiefs fans would like to believe no, while those who vow by the Kabo Yellow of Sundowns would prefer the answer to the affirmative.

All in all, this points to the fact that we are still in for some exciting football before the league is wrapped up in May.

S’Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning well over 20 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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