Absa Premiership

Good for some, bad for others

2016-10-02 05:48
PSL logo (File)

Johannesburg - The international break could not have come at a better time for some clubs, yet it also came at the wrong time for others.

Those that had momentum bemoaned the break as it meant two weeks without competitive football. But it will give those that have been struggling the chance to go back to the drawing board.

Clinton Larsen and Dan Malesela have started the season well and will be hoping the break does not break their rhythm.

What is certain is that Baroka FC have learnt that life in the Premiership is not rosy at all. After making a lot of noise about how they were going to conquer the top-flight league, the Limpopo side has been humbled so far, with only a single victory to show for their efforts.

Coach Kgoloko Thobejane has found the going very tough, with only one victory in four matches. They conceded four goals in their last match against in-form Chippa United midweek.

One: Mamelodi Sundowns will have some serious catching up to do as they are the only side still on one game. Their success in the CAF Champions League and MTN8 – they reached both tournament finals – has kept them too busy to worry about the league campaign.

They have had a few games rescheduled already and it will be worse if they win the Champions League as they will have to play the Super Cup and go to the Fifa Club World Cup in Japan in December.

With the league programme congested already because of provisions made for the Rio Olympic Games and the CAF Africa Cup of Nations in January, the Brazilians could pay the price for their success.

Two: Kaizer Chiefs have already benefited from two penalties. The first one was against Highlands Park, which saw them win their first league game of the season.

This  victory was the turning point of their season as they went on to win their next two games against Maritzburg United and Free State Stars.

Amakhosi received their second penalty against Stars in a game that saw skipper Itumeleng Khune reach a personal milestone of 250 starts for the club. Coach Steve Komphela would have been happy with the turnaround and he would have wished to carry the momentum forward, save for the international break.

Three: Free State Stars have shown that you don’t have to wait until it is too late to make changes. The club fired Frenchman Denis Lavagne after only three games in charge, in which he collected only one point and lost two games.

But his departure has not arrested their poor run yet, as they are still to win a game. They have collected just a single point out of a possible six since Lavagne’s departure.

But this is not a record as Jean-Yves Kerjean still holds the unwanted label of being the quickest mentor to be shown the door after just one game in charge of Black Leopards back in 2005.

Now the question is: who is next to follow in Lavagne’s footsteps? Stars have also joined Baroka and Maritzburg on the list of clubs that have lost three games. They have since reappointed their former coach, Giovanni Solinas, who left at the end of the season citing personal reasons.

Four: Bloemfontein Celtic, Ajax Cape Town, Free State Stars and Sundowns are the only four clubs still to win a league game. However, Sundowns could argue that they have only played one game so far, while Stars are already on five, with Ajax on four and Celtic on three.

The Brazilians, together with Orlando Pirates, Chippa and Bidvest Wits, also have the honour of being the only sides still to taste defeat this season.

Five: It has to be Tendai Ndoro who, despite failing to score in two consecutive matches, has set the scene alight with five goals in two opening matches.

The Zimbabwean hitman was on fire in the first game when he scored a hat-trick against Golden Arrows and followed that with a brace against Ajax to top the scoring charts with five goals. But the biggest tribute should go to Collins Mbesuma, who has reached a 100-goal mark in the PSL.

Read more on:    soccer  |  psl
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Fixtures
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Baroka FC v SuperSport United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Maritzburg United, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:30
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