Absa Premiership

Chiefs not ready to quit

2018-03-25 06:03
Steve Komphela.(Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Despite being seven points behind log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela has refused to throw in the towel.

After dropping five points in their last two league matches, Amakhosi have fallen by the way side, allowing Free State Stars and Maritzburg United to overtake them.

But that has not stopped Komphela from believing their title ambitions are not yet over. He said he has learnt to embrace the pressure of the job.

“Whether we win or not, the pressure remains and you have to embrace it. There are certain things you cannot change and you have to live with them,” he said.

Komphela said that he had not given up on the league challenge, but conceded it would be difficult.“Realistically, a lot is still going to happen in the remaining games. It is a pity we have not taken advantage of the matches we dominated.

"The difference between our thinking and the reality of where we are supposed to be is the draws – unnecessary draws, I must add.”

He said they would fight and work hard to achieve what they wanted:

“Even the knowledge that we have to do it for our supporters will spur us on. It is the pride of winning something for them that is the motivating factor.”

He said the players agreed that it had been too long since they won something.

Recharging batteries

The international break could not have come at a better time for clubs as they will be able to breathe and plan for the final stretch. Most clubs will use the two-week break to fine-tune themselves and recharge their batteries before the daunting task ahead.

The remaining six games will not only determine the new champions, but who goes down to the National First Division.

Title race

For now, it looks like a two-horse race between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates, both of whom have more than 40 points.

The Brazilians, who have a game in hand, lead the Buccaneers by a single point and are in pole position to clinch the title, but Pirates have promised to give them a run for their money in the title chase.

Dark horses

Maritzburg United and Free State Stars should not be discarded – as yet – from the title race.

The two sides could have a say in the destination of the title as they both still have to play against Sundowns and Pirates – which will make their matches interesting and might sway the outcome of the championship.

United and Stars have been the surprise packages of the season. Chiefs are also on their menu.

Relegation woes

After failing – yet again – to win their first game this year, the odds are stacked against Platinum Stars.

They scored the least number of goals – 15 – and conceded the most – 32.

Stars went down to Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend and find themselves seven points behind Ajax Cape Town at the bottom of the log.

Their next two games against Baroka and Kaizer Chiefs will determine their destiny.

Failure to get maximum points would mean automatic relegation.

SuperSport United are not out of the woods either. United are 10 points ahead of Stars and know they could be dragged into the relegation zone if they fail to win at least half of their remaining six matches.

Polokwane City, Golden Arrows and AmaZulu need at least two victories to secure their statuses.


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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Free State Stars v Golden Arrows, Goble Park 19:30
Friday, 26 October 2018
Wits v Highlands Park, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 27 October 2018
Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs, FNB Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Maritzburg United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Cape Town City v AmaZulu, Cape Town Stadium 20:15
Chippa United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Sisa Dukashe Stadium 20:15
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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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