AmaTuks overcome champs

2013-05-19 10:00

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But then again, Chiefs supporters have all the bragging rights: ‘Win or lose, Amakhosi ajabulile’.

“Win or lose, Amakhosi ajabulile!” One poster summed up the proceedings at Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga yesterday.

Another read: “If Chiefs were the government, they would have delivered on their promises!”

At the beginning of the season, Kaizer Chiefs’ mission was simple – “Reclaiming the Glory” – and this they did successfully.

Lifting the Nedbank Cup on Saturday will make it a double.

To do that, Amakhosi will have to dig deeper if they are to beat defending Cup champions SuperSport United at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Although the Absa Premiership title was already in the bag going into yesterday’s dead rubber against the gutsy University of Pretoria, losing before a cup final could demoralise the players and affect their play.

The loss was Chiefs’ third of the current season and their last league win was almost a month ago when they beat Moroka Swallows.

But yesterday was the team’s supporters’ day and they did not disappoint, packing this stadium and leaving a happy lot.

This was definitely not how the Glamour Boys wanted to wrap up their great season.

In fact, they could have done better but it was AmaTurks substitute Thabo Mosadi who scored the all-important goal of the match on the hour mark.

The solitary goal was enough to secure AmaTuks a top-eight finish, elbowing out Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows, who played to 2-2 and 1-1 draws, respectively, against Bidvest Wits and Bloemfontein Celtic.

Chiefs and AmaTuks will again be facing each other in the MTN8 due to their log positions.

Free State Stars were also the biggest movers, snatching seventh place courtesy of a 3-2 win against Black Leopards.

This result sealed Lidoda Duvha’s relegation.

The electrifying atmosphere at Mbombela Stadium fit the occasion as Chiefs were officially crowned the 2012/13 champions after an eight-year wait.

Unfortunately for AmaTuks, they were the unlucky ones to do the guard of honour for the champions, but they earned their stripes on the field of play.

The only downside of the match was the booing of Chiefs striker Kingston Nkhatha after he missed countless scoring opportunities.

The Zimbabwean had an off day and it came as no surprise that he later made way for Sthembiso Ngcobo.

But to their credit, Chiefs players rallied behind Nkhatha as they applauded his efforts.

On the field of play, however, the hosts, AmaTuks, fought courageously to earn themselves three points. Had it not been for Itumeleng Khune’s heroic saves in the second half, the scoreline would have read differently.

This has been a season to remember for the Chiefs faithful.

The team led the Premiership from the beginning until the end and deserved the championship.

Now the challenge is for Chiefs to repeat the same heroics next season, and chances are it will not be easy as other clubs are expected to reinforce with the aim of dethroning the champions.

For now, Chiefs can enjoy their moment of glory, knowing their mission has been accomplished.

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