CHIEFS VRIES FOR A MO­MENT… DOWNS POUNCE!

Nom­pumelelo “Mpumi” Nyan­deni - Banyana Banyana mid­fielder

Soccer Laduma - - Siyag Bhoza -

Over the past week­end, Kaizer Chiefs con­trolled and dic­tated terms in most parts of the game against Mamelodi Sun­downs. We also cre­ated most chances, which is a pos­i­tive for us. How­ever, we failed to con­vert them. For the first goal that we con­ceded, our de­fence and the goal­keeper (Vir­gil Vries) should have done bet­ter. We put on a good fight and equalised. The prob­lem started when Wil­lard Kat­sande pulled his ham­string and had to be sub­sti­tuted. Downs were then able to go on one-on-one sit­u­a­tions be­cause our de­fence was not prop­erly shielded. Again, our keeper made a blun­der when he mis­judged the bounce of the ball that came from a cross from Lyle Lakay and we con­ceded the sec­ond goal. I have for­given the fact that Pitso Mosi­mane is the only one al­lowed to park the bus as per his rants. Very early in the sec­ond half he re­placed all his strik­ers with mid­field­ers, mak­ing his en­gine very com­pact and, as if that was not enough of de­fen­sive in­ge­nu­ity, he brought de­fender Mot­jeka Madisha on to the party. I’m not say­ing there is some­thing wrong with that, but when the same ap­proach is im­ple­mented against him, he cries foul. Nev­er­the­less, I am only try­ing to pick up the pos­i­tives from my team, but I don’t see God­frey Walusimbi im­prov­ing any­time soon. This dude seems con­fused and I don’t see him play­ing for Ernst Mid­den­dorp again. Siyabonga Nkalam­bela, KwaDukathole Lady Frere Only Kaizer Chiefs play­ers know why they did not win the game on Satur­day. They did every­thing right in the first half. I think the prob­lem came be­cause of those two sub­sti­tu­tions of Hen­drick Ek­stein and God­frey Walusimbi, who were re­placed by Teenage Hadebe and Bernard Parker. I be­lieve that killed the ini­tial game plan, which was go­ing to work like a charm. Parker is just a pas­sen­ger and that’s just my hon­est view. Please let him go or send him on loan. Any­way, there had to be a win­ner and, un­for­tu­nately, it was not Amakhosi. Vir­gil Vries, sorry for your mis­judge­ment. It hap­pens. Just rec­tify a few mis­takes and then you will be num­ber one. Lastly, Chiefs’ back­line must stop their un­nec­es­sary back passes as that will cause dam­age one of these days. Le­batlo Joshua Mati Dilopye, Temba Great start by Mamelodi Sun­downs by putting Kaizer Chiefs un­der pres­sure. Af­ter Pitso Mosi­mane’s charges scored, the Glam­our Boys started to pick up the pieces and take the game to Downs and they re­sponded well with an equaliser. In my opin­ion, Sun­downs strug­gled to play their free-flow­ing game as Gas­ton Sirino was marked tight. Wil­lard Kat­sande’s goal showed that the Chloorkop-based side were dis­jointed as they failed on many oc­ca­sions to de­fend set pieces. Chiefs had a lot of chances and they failed to con­vert them and made too many passes in the third half. The in­jury to Kat­sande was a big blow for the team and I thought the coach would bring on Siphelele Nt­shangase to part­ner George Maluleka to sta­bilise the mid­field as well as Ka­belo Mahlasela as an at­tack­ing player. Vir­gil Vries made an ex­pen­sive mis­take and he should have done bet­ter in that sit­u­a­tion. That mis­take will haunt him for a long time. Any­way, Happy New Year to all fam­ily in our beau­ti­ful game! Madimetja Vic Mashamaite, Ren­stown Kaizer Chiefs played good foot­ball on Satur­day and a pro­duc­tive one at that. From the first minute, Vir­gil Vries was a sus­pect. Chiefs with­out Itume­leng Khune are like tea with­out su­gar. Let’s give Ernst Mid­den­dorp a chance and we will see what hap­pens as the sea­son pro­gresses. E.S Mat­lala, Reth­biseng Happy be­lated birth­day to the Khosi fam­ily even though we could not cel­e­brate the way we wanted to due to the un­for­tu­nate loss. Vir­gil Vries made a ter­ri­ble blun­der of mis­judg­ing a ball, but I urge our fans to please for­give him. He has al­ways done well when deputis­ing for Mzansi’s finest, Itume­leng Khune. Now that it is con­firmed that Itu’s sea­son is over, we need Vries des­per­ately. Over­all, we played far bet­ter than inthose two losses that we suf­fered against Or­lando Pi­rates and we could have wrapped the game in the sec­ond half had we con­verted our chances. Ka­belo Mahlasela must learn to take re­spon­si­bil­ity in­side the box and not pass un­nec­es­sar­ily when he has a good op­por­tu­nity to score. Our play­ers must just en­sure that they put smiles back on our faces by win­ning the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup. Lastly, com­pli­ments to ev­ery­one as­so­ci­ated with this price­less and glo­ri­ous news­pa­per.

Amos Tshukudu, Ga Maria I watched the Kaizer Chiefs v Mamelodi Sun­downs match with keen in­ter­est and I must con­fess that An­thony Laf­for is a marvel to watch. I urge coach Pitso Mosi­mane to call the boy aside and iron out all their dif­fer­ences in an ac­cept­able way, like the gen­tle­men they are, for the sake of the Masan­dawana faith­ful. Laf­for de­serves bet­ter and, with reg­u­lar game-time, he will re­gain his con­fi­dence. Laf­for is a raw tal­ent. I don’t mean to single out one player, but look­ing at Le­bo­hang Maboe’s per­for­mances, I must point out that he made all Sun­downs haters eat hum­ble pie. Many things were said and writ­ten about him join­ing the Chloorkop-based club. Some said his move to Sun­downs was ca­reer sui­cide. I won­der what they are say­ing now be­cause Lebo is now play­ing week in and week out. Keep up the good work, young man. Tente Mokoka, Sepha­rane There is no way Kaizer Chiefs will re­deem their pride. We as sup­port­ers are just be­ing fooled by the Mo­taung fam­ily who are start­ing to re­cy­cle coaches who failed at the club. The only coach who was suc­cess­ful even af­ter be­ing re­cy­cled was the late Jeff But­ler who was fired by the club af­ter he had an ar­gu­ment with the then NSL when he re­fused to pay the R10 000 fine af­ter telling the truth. He said, “I’m not wor­ried about the or­gan­i­sa­tion that doesn’t care about foot­ball from grass­roots but wor­ried about build­ing big sta­di­ums that will stay empty be­cause peo­ple will never get to watch medi­ocre soc­cer.” Go fig­ure. Amos Mot­lod­ing, Jamela Vil­lage The Kaizer Chiefs that played against Mamelodi Sun­downs is a well-oiled and men­ac­ing ma­chine un­der the tute­lage of the shrewd coach, Ernst Mid­den­dorp. They were sup­posed to kill the game in the first half when it was ev­i­dent their op­po­nents were still on a Christ­mas break. The lack of reg­u­lar play­ers in the right back po­si­tion and the ab­sence of Itume­leng Khune through in­jury did not help mat­ters but in­stead forced the coach to im­pro­vise, which he did con­sum­mately, only to be let down by the in­jury to Kat­sande. That opened the flood­gates for Downs to at­tack fear­lessly. Mam­atonyane Maila, via email Kaizer Chiefs goal­keeper Vir­gil Vries made a big blun­der on Satur­day when he mis­judged the ball when we lost 2-1 against de­fend­ing league cham­pi­ons Mamelodi Sun­downs, but it’s like we some­times for­get that even the best keep­ers in the world have made big mis­takes which cost their clubs big games. Vries is an ex­pe­ri­enced goal­keeper. He is Namibia’s num­ber one shot-stop­per and I think he made the right choice when sign­ing for Amakhosi. As Chiefs sup­port­ers, we need to lift his spir­its and stop mak­ing him a scape­goat for our team’s loss to the Brazil­ians. Our play­ers failed to score enough goals for us to get max­i­mum points on the day and let’s make peace with it. Hard luck, Khosi. Maybe our play­ers will start to score more goals in the re­main­ing games as they saw that one goal is not enough. Ne­musunda Mm­boniseni, Thabo Mbeki Vil­lage Mr Pitso Mosi­mane will remain the best coach in Mzansi and in Africa as a whole. The guy just knows how to make us Yel­low sup­port­ers happy. Slowly but surely, he is go­ing to the top of the Absa Pre­mier­ship while oth­ers are still bat­tling for a spot in the Top 8. We love and hon­our you, Mr Jin­gles! Roger Stemele, Alice

Great game and great at­mos­phere by both Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sun­downs. Even though Chiefs had good chances to fin­ish the game, the ex­pe­ri­ence of Sun­downs came to the fore in the end. Look­ing at how both teams scored their goals, it seems that this game was char­ac­terised by a lot of mis­takes. It’s a wel­come three points for Pitso Mosi­mane and his charges. I’m glad that we are pick­ing up points be­fore the busy sched­ule comes around. Hard luck, Mazinyo.com. Terah Maqepula, Mount Fletcher Los­ing the game against Mamelodi Sun­downs on Satur­day was a bit­ter pill to swal­low. Not that Downs didn’t de­serve to beat us, but it is the man­ner in which we con­ceded the sec­ond goal that made me sleep on an empty stom­ach as I lost ap­petite for food. Vir­gil Vries must know that he is now play­ing for one of the big­gest teams in the coun­try where there is lit­tle or no room for such er­rors. But I am not go­ing be too hard on him since he’s not used to play­ing in games of such mag­ni­tude as Itume­leng Khune is al­ways be­tween the sticks in games like these. What a lucky es­cape for Sun­downs, but congratulations none­the­less. As for Kaizer Chiefs, let’s rally be­hind the team as we can see that now we have struc­ture and the team is start­ing to play with pur­pose. Makhado Ne­malili, via email Congratulations to Mamelodi Sun­downs for grind­ing out their three points against Kaizer Chiefs. I couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter way to open the sec­ond half of the sea­son than at the ex­pense of Amakhosi. I would also like to show my grat­i­tude to the Sun- downs sup­port­ers who matched the Amakhosi faith­ful pound for pound in terms of bums on seats. It was a dif­fi­cult game for Sun­downs de­spite scor­ing early in the game, while it seemed that Amakhosi were still in Christ­mas mood. Ernst Mid­den­dorp’s charges piled on pres­sure af­ter pres­sure, but they were un­lucky not to con­vert the chances cre­ated. Downs ab­sorbed the pres­sure very well. Hlom­pho Kekana and Tiyani Mabunda’s com­bi­na­tion and Cham­pi­ons League ex­pe­ri­ence in the mid­dle of the park showed big time. Pitso Mosi­mane is a mas­ter tac­ti­cian – he can read the game very well. The 2-1 score­line was a true re­flec­tion of the game be­cause you only win games with goals be­ing scored not ball pos­ses­sion and crowd cheer­ing. Chiefs play­ers must play as a unit, es­pe­cially Khama Bil­liat. Aphane JM Liban­geni, Vaal­bank, KwaNde­bele BUCS ES­CAPE FROM THE JAWS OF THE LIONS OF THE NORTH The Buc­ca­neers dropped an­other two valu­able points in their league en­counter against High­lands Park on Satur­day night, but good­ness me, what a thrilling game of foot­ball! I was not happy with the re­sult be­cause I thought we would go for a win and put pres­sure on the run­away log lead­ers (Bid­vest Wits), but we failed. Hav­ing said that, I was happy with the per­for­mance of the boys on the night. If we could fix our goal­keep­ing depart­ment, then I don’t see any team stop­ping us from march­ing to the Promise Land and col­lect­ing the Absa Pre­mier­ship ti­tle come May. Bon­gani Mgubela, Diep­kloof Coach Mi­cho, take it easy! As an ar­dent diehard Or­lando Pi­rates fan, l am get­ting very wor­ried be­fore we even con­quer our African ex­pe­di­tion. Don’t change what is not bro­ken. Don’t scratch where it ain’t itch­ing, pal. Why is our tech­ni­cal team chang­ing the line-up in each and ev­ery single game? Is it in this way that we will get con­sis­tency? Never!I sup­pose it is still too early to push panic but­tons. We are be­hind our team all the way. All we need to do is to close the leaks at the back. There have been too many er­ratic, school­boy and child­ish mis­takes in this depart­ment. Once a Pi­rate, al­ways… McDivett ‘Big Mac’ Khum­bu­lani Tshehla, Half­way House Are we about to see the fall of Or­lando Pi­rates? It seems all teams know how to play against Pi­rates and they have learned how to stop them. Bucs have good play­ers but a ques­tion­able tech­ni­cal team. It seems like they don’t have plan B. They stick to one play­ing pat­tern even if it’s not work­ing. Some­times you grind the re­sults for the sake of pro­gres­sion and con­fi­dence. At Pi­rates, they stick to the tech­ni­cal side of their game and for­get about the tac­ti­cal side of it. I be­lieve that if they can get rid of Rhu­lani Mok­wena, then we will see the best of Mi­cho. Terah Maqepula, Mount Fletcher MEAN­WHILE, THINGS ARE HOT­TING UP IN ENG­LAND… Although Liver­pool stum­bled when they crossed paths with Manch­ester City last week, I still stick to my guns and think that the Jur­gen Klopp-led side are un­stop­pable in the English Premier League at the mo­ment. They de­stroy every­thing in front of them and I don’t see any team, in­clud­ing the Pep Guardi­ola-led City, de­rail­ing this Express train. I know that there is still a long way to go be­fore the sea­son is wrapped up but in my opin­ion, it would be safe to de­clare them cham­pi­ons-elect. You Will Never Walk Alone! Bon­gani Mgubela, Diep­kloof A ‘one game at a time’ ap­proach will be very cru­cial for Jur­gen Klopp and his Liver­pool team as they are on the verge of be­ing crowned EPL cham­pi­ons this sea­son. Fo­cus and con­sis­tency are key. I’m wor­ried though, as I would not want to see a re­peat of the same mis­take that they did un­der then man­ager, Bren­dan Rodgers, let­ting it slip through their fin­gers at the last minute. Phumzile ‘DVD’ Ng­wane, Thokoza For a long time in the EPL, I have never had a num­ber one team that I have sup­ported. I used to be torn be­tween Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke’s Man United team and Den­nis Bergkamp’s, Nwankwo Kanu’s and Thierry Henry’s Arse­nal. I must also con­fess that the emer­gence of Man City changed that a bit be­cause for a long time

there was no real Man United ti­tle chal­lenger. I have fol­lowed teams that were do­ing well in that par­tic­u­lar sea­son, like when Le­ices­ter City won the league. Now this sea­son I have a soft spot for Liver­pool. It was bit­ter­sweet re­sults for me when Wolver­hamp­ton beat Man City 3-1 and when Man City beat Liver­pool 2-1 re­cently. Now the points gap has been re­duced greatly. With the Pep Guardi­ola-led club’s abil­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity to bounce back, Liver­pool could yet again be left with bro­ken hearts like when they nar­rowly missed out the ti­tle at the feet of the very same team in the 2013/14 sea­son un­der Bren­dan Rodgers. Jür­gen Klopp de­serves some­thing for his ef­fort as he has built a for­mi­da­ble team. Lucky Khu­nou, Mer­it­ing We have en­joyed a glo­ri­ous wel­come into 2019 by watch­ing the epic clash of foot­ball gi­ants, Manch­ester City and Liver­pool FC. The ti­tle race is now wide open af­ter the high-press­ing City team sub­dued the stub­born Liver­pool. Although the gen­er­ally con­sen­sus is that the ti­tle race is be­tween the Cit­i­zens and the Reds from An­field, it would how­ever be amiss to rule Tot­ten­ham out of it. The dra­matic re­silience of Spurs is a great threat to both clubs in first and sec­ond po­si­tion. Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino is do­ing an ex­cel­lent job as he is driv­ing an or­di­nary team to ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ments. Po­chet­tino has moulded a team with a low bud­get to com­pete against big-spend­ing clubs. Tot­ten­ham has be­come the high­est-scor­ing team in Eng­land be­cause of Po­chet­tino’s man­age­rial skills. Hats off to him. Bat­sirai Ka­tivu, Johannesburg

Quick One-Two’s

Good start for Steve Kom­phela at Golden Ar­rows. Muhsin Er­tu­gral, you are not go­ing to have it any eas­ier there at Mar­itzburg United con­sid­er­ing how the per­for­mance of the play­ers has dropped this sea­son. Chippa United, ha, ha, ha, you de­serve what is com­ing to you, but I do feel for the play­ers be­cause they don’t de­serve this. Un­for­tu­nately,

they have to pay the price for the work that has been done by their owner. Look­ing at High­lands Park, Owen da Gama and his boys are a tough nut to crack and you can go and ask Or­lando Pi­rates who were for­tu­nate enough to walk away with a point on the evening. Siyabonga Nkalam­bela, kwaDukathole Lady Frere Let me take this op­por­tu­nity to con­grat­u­late Black Leop­ards for win­ning backto-back Lim­popo der­bies against Baroka FC. Li­doda Du­vha made their in­ten­tions clear from the word go and Bak­gaga Ba Ga Mphahlele were still sleep­ing. It was a game of two halves though, and Wed­son Nyirenda’s boys came out strongly in the sec­ond stanza. They gave Leop­ards a lot of space in the first half and didn’t de­fend well, which was their let­down. My word of ad­vice to their tech­ni­cal team is that they must pri­ori­tise all their games and not tar­get only the so-called big scalps. If they don’t wake up now, they will re­gret it later. Madimetja Vic Mashamaite, Ren­stown I don’t want sound xeno­pho­bic, but our for­eign coaches never al­low our drib­bling wizards to express them­selves on the field of play and that’s the main rea­son why we don’t go to sta­di­ums any­more. There’s no en­ter­tain­ment. I am an Or­lando Pi­rates fan, but given a chance and when time al­lowed, l would go and watch any soc­cer match as long as there would be shi­bo­bos and tsamayas, which is our foot­ball cul­ture from the era of Doc­tor ‘16V’ Khu­malo, Zane ‘Kula’ Moosa, our own Ernest ‘Bot­sotso’ Makhanya, Thabiso ‘Skapie’ Malatsi, Scara Ngob­ese, Mark Mayam­bela, Thabo Qalinge, Thabo Rakhale, Ju­naid Hart­ley…oh so end­less is the list. That is all we need (en­ter­tain­ment), or am l ask­ing for too much? McDivett ‘Big Mac’ Khum­bu­lani, Tshehla, Half­way House

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