Tall order for Kingston Nkhatha and company

“Ikhosi aliphel’ umoya”. That is Kaizer Chiefs’ slogan that literally means, meaning, “A Khosi (Chiefs’ member) does not lose hope.”

All to do - Nkhatha.
All to do – Nkhatha.

For this phrase to ring true, Chiefs should score at least three goals without reply against former winners of the Orange African champions League – AS Vita of the DRC at the FNB this weekend. Tall order!

All hope will rest on the fighting power of four of the five Zimbabweans at the Soweto giants. Chiefs, under pressure to at least match bitter rivals Orlando Pirates’ early season feat of reaching the finals of the CAF Champions League, host DRC side AS Vita ion the back foot.

They march onto their favourite FNB turf with a toll order to overturn a 3-goal deficit they suffered in Kinshasa last week – Mubele Ndembe’s hat-trick having done all the damage against the Amakhosi who missed the services of injured captain and first-choice goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune.

Chiefs need a win of four clear goals for them to make straight progress to the mini-league phase of the competition, placing a heavy load on their strike force, led by Zimbabweans Kingston Nkhatha and Knowledge Musona. To some extent, it also has Matthew Rusike, who usually comes in as a substitute, but does start the game at times.

In central midfield, the ever-green Willard Katsande who will, barring injury, definitely start the game, will have to be at his best to ensure that there are no gaps that allow Vita to score what could be a damaging away goal at the FNB.

Should bad come to worse, Chiefs will have to match Vita’s first leg score-line and force the game into extra time and possibly, kill it then, or in the resultant penalty shoot-out should extra time fail to break the deadlock.

So crazy is the game of soccer that after a bright start to their campaign, where they scored 11 goals in four games in the opening two rounds of the competition, Amakhosi, who have Musona, Nkhata, Rusike, Jimmy Jambo and Katsande, suddenly have to perform a Houdini act to make it to the money-spinning mini-league.

Unfazed Katsande said ahead of the tie that Chiefs’ ambition about the tournament had still not changed from what they had at its start. “We still share the same aim as a team, that’s all about winning as a team. As individuals we work hard to contribute to the success of Kaizer Chiefs. We are following the Coach’s game plan to help the Club achieve it’s objectives of Living the African Dream.”

Post published in: Football

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