Chiefs rule!

2013-07-28 10:00

Win over archrivals Pirates nets Amakhosi first Black Label Cup.

Kaizer Chiefs raised the hopes of their faithful with another impressive performance as they wrapped up their preseason training yesterday, netting their first Carling Black Label Cup.

Amakhosi will begin the defence of their Absa Premiership title against newly promoted Mpumalanga Black Aces at Mbombela Stadium on Friday on the back of a polished display against Orlando Pirates.

If there is anything that AmaZayoni coach Clive Barker noted yesterday, it would be that Chiefs’ clever running off the ball won them the Soweto derby against a resistant Pirates side, whose only downfall was finishing.

While coach Roger de Sa left the Calabash disappointed that the Buccaneers relinquished the bragging rights to a cup they had won twice, a heavy workload awaits his side, which will have to juggle their domestic programme with their CAF Champions League campaign.

Pirates will begin their season against AmaZulu, and De Sa faces the task of fine-tuning his flailing strike force, despite the new off-season additions of promising marksmen Kermit Erasmus and Lennox Bacela.

The two strikers were given a run in the second half but were guilty of missing opportunities.

Erasmus, however, was a bit unlucky to have his closing-stage effort thwarted by Itumeleng Khune when the former SuperSport United striker’s goal-bound snap shot almost forced the teams to share the spoils at the death.

Chiefs also unleashed Knowledge Musona, who showed touches of his old self, such as his deceptive nature when he is in the opponent’s goal area.

Apart from Erasmus, the Buccaneers also paraded their new acquisition, William Thwala, while the rest of the team was made up of familiar faces from last season.

Khune and his Pirates counterpart Senzo Meyiwa displayed their shot-stopping skills and, given the way they commanded their areas, PSL strikers will have their work cut out for them to beat the two Bafana Bafana goalies this season.

But the most attention during the coming term will be given to coaches De Sa and Baxter by their clubs’ demanding supporters.

Baxter has already delivered on his mandate at Chiefs by winning two major trophies, while De Sa is yet to prove his worth following a dry season at the helm of the Bucs ship.

Yesterday’s match lived up to its billing as the premier fixture on the local calendar, and it was backed up by a huge crowd that buzzed until voices went hoarse.

It was a vibrant atmosphere from the beginning and local fans can look forward to another clash in three months – this time in the league – provided they don’t square up in a cup competition prior to their October fixture.

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