He dreams big:

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Rob­son Sharuko Se­nior Sports Edi­tor

ZIM­BABWE in­ter­na­tional Wil­lard Kat­sande chose the grand stage of his 200th ap­pear­ance for Kaizer Chiefs to pro­duce a man-ofthe-match dis­play in Cape Town on Wed­nes­day night and show he still has a lot in his tank de­spite the scars in­flicted by his tough role as a mid­field en­forcer.

The 31-year-old, who led the War­riors at the 2017 Na­tions Cup fi­nals, was the stand- out player as the Amakhosi pow­ered to a 2-0 vic­tory over the pre­vi­ously un­beaten Cape Town City, who are un­der the guid­ance of Bafana Bafana leg­end Benni McCarthy, in the Mother City.

It was Chiefs’ first vic­tory of the sea­son and its sig­nif­i­cance was seen by the emo­tional scenes that dom­i­nated their tech­ni­cal area, af­ter the match, with coach Steve Kom­phela close to tears amid the wave of cel­e­bra­tions.

Play­ing with­out a num­ber of their reg­u­lar play­ers, Chiefs were forced to dig deep, by a Cape Town City that played with free­dom and con­fi­dence and kept at­tack­ing, with Kat­sande — mak­ing his 200th ap­pear­ance for the Amakhosi — a pil­lar of strength in that de­fen­sive unit.

Bafana Bafana first-choice goal­keeper Itume­leng Khune also pro­duced some good saves on the night and the club said it was a toss be­tween the two for the best player of the day.

‘’It must have been close be­tween Wil­lard Kat­sande and Itume­leng Khune who would get the man-of-the-match award,’’ Chiefs said on their of­fi­cial web­site.

‘’Kat­sande was, as usual, fight­ing in the cen­tre of the park, win­ning nu­mer­ous balls. How­ever, in the end it was given to Khune and de­servedly so. The goal­keeper made a few cru­cial saves and showed lead­er­ship in de­fence.’’

How­ever, Su­perS­port com­men­ta­tor Mark Glee­son and an­a­lyst Wil­liam Shongwe were in agree­ment that the man-of-the-match award should have gone to Kat­sande who ap­peared de­ter­mined to en­sure that his big day, when he was mak­ing his 200th ap­pear­ance for the club, would not be spoiled by a de­feat.

‘’It was an emo­tional game,” the Zim­bab­wean told his club’s of­fi­cial web­site.

Kat­sande also talked about his 200 games for the Amakhosi.

“My team­mates and the sup­port­ers, who are sim­ply phe­nom­e­nal, played a big role to help me play so many matches,’’ he said.

‘’I am happy we got the three points on the night. To be suc­cess­ful is the re­sult of all the hard work you put in.

“While grow­ing up, I knew that my soc­cer abil­i­ties would give me an op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed and to make a liv­ing and that’s why I worked hard to reach this achieve­ment.”

And the gritty mid­fielder — who ap­pears to be get­ting bet­ter with age — said he still be­lieved he had more years play­ing at such a level and wants to be re­mem­bered as a Chiefs leg­end when he fi­nally leaves the Amakhosi.

Siphiwe Tsha­bal­ala, who opened the scor­ing for Chiefs on Wed­nes­day night, has clocked more than 300 games for Chiefs in his 10-year stay at the club. In­ter­est­ingly, Kat­sande made his de­but for Chiefs in 2011 by re­plac­ing Tsha­bal­ala in the MTN8 fi­nal which the Amakhosi lost 0-1 to their big­gest ri­vals Or­lando Pirates.

“I am still very hun­gry and I have a burn­ing de­sire to con­tinue do­ing well for the club,’’ said Kat­sande.

‘’I want to go down as a leg­end in Kaizer Chiefs’ rich his­tory.”

The stage had been per­fectly set for Kat­sande, one of the few lead­ers in the Chiefs line-up on the night, and he re­sponded with a per­for­mance that was a credit to all the ex­pe­ri­ence he has gained in his lengthy ca­reer.

For much of the sec­ond half, Cape Town City

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threw ev­ery­thing at their op­po­nents with some sleek move­ments and a pace that never ap­peared to wilt un­der the Cape Town lights.

“I never ex­pected to play that many games for Kaizer Chiefs,” Kat­sande said. ‘’ This is re­ally great. “I used to watch the Soweto Derby even when I was still in Zim­babwe. The f irst Derby was tough and the pres­sure im­mense. How­ever, in re­cent years I have learnt to han­dle the pres­sure of a Derby.”

Kat­sande’s first goal, just like his de­but for Chiefs, would come in the Soweto Derby against Pirates in 2014, a de­ci­sive strike that helped them win the game 1- 0.

“That was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I will never for­get that goal.”

Kat­sande has been a reg­u­lar starter for the Amakhosi, since mak­ing his de­but, show­ing his value for the Glam­our Boys of South African foot­ball where a num­ber of for­eign­ers have found the go­ing tough and have been de­voured by the pres­sure and ex­pec­ta­tions.

His Zim­bab­wean coun­ter­part, Ed­more Chi­ram­badare, who was voted the club’s most im­proved player in his f irst sea­son at the Soweto gi­ants, was on the bench all night yes­ter­day.

Kat­sande has now started in 192 games for Chiefs and was in­tro­duced as a sub­sti­tute eight times.

The matches in­clude all of­fi­cial matches — league, the knock- out tour­na­ment and the CAF com­pe­ti­tions.

He has been on tar­get 14 times with his most re­cent goal came in the ABSA Pre­mier­ship com­ing against Mar­itzburg United on 11 Fe­bru­ary 2017 in a 2- 1 win for the Glam­our Boys.

Last sea­son, Kat­sande won an in­cred­i­ble 75% of all bat­tles he plunged into with his op­po­nents on the ground ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics from Kaizer Chiefs.

Zim­bab­weans have a proud his­tory of do­ing well at the Amakhosi, be­gin­ning with the le­gendary Eb­son “Sugar’’ Muguyo in the ‘ 70s while the likes of Knowl­edge Mu­sona, who re­placed Kat­sande as the War­riors skip­per, and Rab­son Muchichwa also made a huge im­pres­sion there.

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