Chiefs need to be mentally strong: Billiat
PITSO Mosimane has reassuring words for Mamelodi Sundowns fans losing sleep over how their not-so-mobile central defenders will deal with twin strikers Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga when they host Orlando Pirates at Loftus Versfeld tomorrow (3.30pm).
It’s likely that the Buccaneers will bank on this Zambian duo once more in the top of the Absa Premiership clash in Tshwane.
“Do you remember Alje Schut? Thabo Nthethe? We have never had those quick centre-backs, and we suffered. But if you really look, we don’t concede a lot and in the five years I have been here we have probably conceded fewer goals than everybody else,” Mosimane said yesterday.
“Sometimes it is about being smart, intelligent in how you play, knowing how to position yourself. People like (Ricardo) Nascimento, he knows he is not too fast but he knows how to position himself. (Mosa) Lebusa is not too fast either, but he can position himself. Everybody always says, ‘ah, but Sundowns have the slowest defence’. But why are we not conceding so many goals? In five years we have conceded fewer than everybody.”
Shonga and Mulenga have also been aided by in-form talisman Vincent Pule and Thembinkosi Lorch, who contribute with important goals when the Zambian strikers are tightly marked. KAIZER CHIEFS talisman Khama Billiat is aware of the danger that Chippa United pose for Amakhosi in their Absa Premiership clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow (6pm).
The match will be the last of Chiefs’ two games played behind closed doors at the Durban arena following crowd violence in a Nedbank Cup semi-final 2-0 defeat to Free State Stars last season.
The PSL disciplinary committee found Amakhosi guilty and handed them a three-match fan ban, one of which was suspended.
Chiefs lost the first match 1-0 to Polokwane City and Billiat lamented playing in an empty stadium.
“It’s a difficult match without the supporters because we have to be mentally strong,” he said.
“The coach (Giovanni Solinas) has been emphasising that without our supporters we have to prepare ourselves. We had to learn from the loss and we don’t want to go through that again.”
With Moses Mabhida Stadium their second home after FNB Stadium, Chiefs looked in despair without the backing of their fans as they were on the back foot against a confident City team who had nothing to lose.
Their next opponents Chippa may not have the best fan base in Durban but they pose a threat as they are hungry for points after a
Mosimane will have a plan for Pule and Lorch, too.
“When you push your central defence up to the halfway line and you are playing against Pule, Lorch, Shonga and Mulenga, you are killing your team because that is how they score,” said the coach of the title holders.
“Don’t play to their strength. I know sometimes they say the best way to defend is to attack. Yes, I like that, but sometimes it doesn’t happen like that.
“Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane (of Liverpool) just try and play on the halfway line and you will see they go through. It’s the same with (Raheem) Sterling and (Leroy) Sané (at Manchester City).”
While he hopes his back four will have answers for the Bucs’ twin strikers, Mosimane still showed a great deal of admiration for the two attackers.
“They are typical Zambian strikers and like most SADC region forwards – they are mobile and they have the physical strength. It’s like (Khama) Billiat, Knowledge Musona, Evans Rusike. They are full of energy and movement – that is why you will find that they don’t struggle when they come to the PSL because we also produce those kind of players.
“When you go to west Africa, they are slower, they use the body, and their region plays football like that.
“In Zambia they like them skilful,” Mosimane concluded. string of poor results.
“We are really looking forward to the game and we’ll try to be mentally strong,” said Billiat. “We’ll make sure that we grind for the result to make our supporters happy.”
Amakhosi needed solitary strikes from defensive players Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Willard Katsande to bag successive wins against SuperSport United and Black Leopards recently. That is something of a concern for a team who have an attack consisting of Billiat, Leonardo Castro, Dumisani Zuma, Bernard Parker and Gustavo Paez. But 28-year-old Billiat, who already has six goals and four assists in only 16 matches this season, believes that whoever scores is benefiting the club.
“As long as we win, we are happy,” he said. “Kaizer Chiefs is bigger than the strikers. Strikers come and go but the club remains. If the set-piece (scored by a defender) can make us win the game, then why not?”
Solinas is also not fazed by his strikers’ two-game goalless streak. In fact, he’s tipped one of them to be the top goal scorer at the end of the season.
“Please ask me this question at the end of the season. I have the best strikers in the PSL,” he said.
“Please check how many goals Billiat and Castro will score,” Solinas said as he concluded his post-match press conference. Titans first innings 381 all out
(G Koopman 33, J Vandiar 67, S von Berg 54, M Arnold 37, E Hawken 84 no, T Moreki 34, O Cele 3-63, L Zuma 2-71)
Dolphins second innings
S Erwee c Elgar b von Berg .............................. 17 V van Jaarsveld lbw Mothoa ........................... 133 C Chetty c von Berg b Mothoa .......................... 10 K Zondo c Masondo b Moreki .......................... 25 D Vilas lbw Hawken ............................................ 0 S Makhanya c Masondo b Hawken .................. 32 G Roelofsen not out .......................................... 46 E Bosch lbw Hawken .......................................... 5 K Maharaj c Masondo b Arnold ........................ 23 L Zuma not out .................................................... 0 Extras (lb 4, nb 3, w 4) ....................................... 11 TOTAL(For8wickets,84Overs,RR:3.59)...302 Fall of wickets: 1-62, 2-77, 3-155, 4-156, 5-213, 6-232, 7-238, 8-280
Bowling: T Moreki 12-0-52-1; M Arnold 19-2-73-1; E Hawken 18-3-59-3; S Mothoa 11-2-32-2;
S von Berg 24-7-82-1
Result: Match drawn
Knights v Warriors
Diamond Oval, Kimberley
Knights first innings 293 all out
(T Mokoena 99, K Petersen 82, A Gous 23, A Nortje 5-51, B Walters 1-39, S Harmer 3-88) Warriors first innings 134 all out
(E Moore 37, B Walters 26, D Olivier 1-22, O Baartman 3-28, T Ntuli 4-58, R McLaren 1-16, A Swanepoel 1-6)
Knights second innings 330-4 declared
(T Mokoena 38, R van Tonder 52, P van Biljon 63, K Petersen 103 no, A Gous 67 no, A Nortje 1-34, J Smuts 1-56, S Magala 2-30)
Warriors second innings 205 all out
(G Cloete 45, E Moore 60, C Ackermann 27 S Harme 23, D Olivier 3-23, R McLaren 4-42, A Swanepoel 1-15)
Result: Knight won by 284 runs
Cape Cobras v Highveld Lions
Boland Park, Paarl
Highveld Lions first innings 337 all out
(S Cook 25, W Lubbe 101, T Bavuma 51,
H van der Dussen 66, D Paterson 5-81,
D Piedt 3-119, J Smith 1-30, M Nabe 1-43)
Cape Cobras first innings 138 all out
(J Malan 22, Z Hamza 56, A Mgijima 24,
N Burger 2-34, Z Pongolo 3-29, A Phangiso 3-11, B Fortuin 2-23)
Highveld Lions second innings 233 all out (W Lubbe 23, H van der Dussen 41, N van den Bergh 83, D Piedt 5-99, T Bokako 3-40,
M Nabe 1-34, J Smith 1-11)
Cape Cobras second innings 246 all out
(P Malan 101, J Smith 74, D Paterson 24, C Alexander 3-52, N Burger 1-21, B Fortuin 3-37, A Phangiso 3-77)
Result: Highveld Lions won by 186 runs
Sri Lanka v England
Galle International Stadium
England first innings 342 all out
(K Jennings 46, J Root 35, J Buttler 38
B Foakes 107, S Curran 48, A Rashid 35,
S Lakmal 3-73, D Perera 5-75)
Sri Lanka first innings 203 all out
(A Mathews 52, D Chandimal 33, N Dickwella 28, D Perera 21, J Anderson 1-26, S Curran 1-16, M Leach 2-41, M Ali 4-66, A Rashid 2-30) England second innings 322-6 declared
(K Jennings 146 no, B Stokes 62, J Buttler 35, B Foakes 37, R Herath 2-59)
Sri Lanka second innings 15-0 (target: 462 runs)
JUSTIN Shonga of Orlando Pirates is in fine form but Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane isn’t worried about the speedy striker tomorrow. (K Zondo 23, D Vilas 29, E Bosch 40, K Maharaj 76, E Hawken 3-49, T Moreki 3-34, M Arnold 3-49, S von Berg 1-26)