Chiefs confident ahead of Ajax clash

2008-03-13 00:00

KAIZER Chiefs’ 4-1 league victory over Free State Stars last weekend, which ended an eight-match winless run, was just the tonic they needed ahead of their Nedbank Cup last-32 match against Ajax Cape Town at King’s Park tonight, says left-back Onismor Bhasera.

Bhasera, the attack-minded, terrier-like fullback from Zimbabwe, has gone from strength to strength since joining Chiefs from Maritzburg United at the beginning of the season. The defender has found his feet dramatically at the country’s biggest club, to the extent that he should easily be a candidate for player of the season at Chiefs for 2007/08.

Yet the tough little Zimbabwean, who has teamed up with influential countryman Tinashe Nengomasha at Amakhosi, does not feel he has come close to achieving his goals yet.

“I have to keep on pushing. You have got to have hunger because I still have a long way to go. My dream is not yet fulfilled and there are still places I have to go,” Bhasera said after a Chiefs training session at King’s Park last night.

Bhasera said he believes the Amakhosi’s victory over Stars on Sunday, where all four of the Soweto giants’ goals were scored in the last 25 minutes, came at just the right time to help rescue what was turning into a disappointing season. It pushed the team into 10th place in the PSL and gave them a confidence boost ahead of tonight’s cup tie against the on-form league leaders.

“Any team in the world, if you win 4-1 before a major game, it does give you confidence. We have been playing very well, but the problem is that we were not managing to convert our chances into goals. And that is exactly what we did against Free State Stars.

“It seems now that the guys have found their footing and I hope we are going to take it from where we left off last week.”

The last time Chiefs met Ajax, it was a pulsating league encounter that ended 1-1 after David Obua missed a penalty in the last 10 minutes at Athlone Stadium that would have given Amakhosi victory.

“Really, we are 100% confident this time,” Bhasera said. “It’s a pleasure playing those teams on top because you know it will be a 50/50 game, pound for pound where you have to work hard to earn a victory.”

Is the defender surprised at the speed with which he has adjusted to playing for a club whose supporters run into the millions? “Not really, because I told myself that I need to be there. And when you are on top of the mountain you have to work very hard to keep yourself there.

“I know Kaizer Chiefs is a big team, and every footballer in the country wants to play for the team. And there are a lot of media following the club, and a lot of supporters, so you just have to keep your focus.”

For Chiefs, defensive midfielder Nengomasha, another candidate for player of the season along with 20-year-old goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, is out suspended. Derrick Spencer will be his most likely replacement. David Mathebula has been in sparkling form on the right wing.

Young Ajax have had a superb season so far and this will be there best chance of winning the league since finishing as runners-up in 2003/04.

A win over Chiefs tonight for a team built around wingers Franklyn Cale and Bryce Moon, left-back Brett Evans and veteran goalkeeper Hans Vonk, would set the Capetonians

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