Chiefs are the team to beat, says Komphela

2014-02-13 00:00

IT will take a massive effort from the PSL’s top clubs to stop Kaizer Chiefs from retaining their title this season, said Maritzburg United boss Steve Komphela after Tuesday night’s thrilling 2-2 draw between the sides at Harry Gwala Stadium.

In what was perhaps the stadium’s finest football match in recent years, United ensured that Chiefs failed to record what would have been their 10th successive league victory.

“It’s going to be very difficult,” said the United coach after the electric contest. “They [Chiefs] have transcended beyond confidence and into belief, and that is very difficult to beat. Even if you are very organised, they will hurt you.”

It was a game that United were never supposed to win, and they didn’t, but they came oh so close. When Ryan de Jongh’s long-range effort beat the country’s top goalkeeper with less than 80 seconds on the clock to put his side ahead, he sprinted over to the bench before almost knocking Komphela over in a moment of the rawest emotion. “I’m sure I’m about 90 kg, and I don’t ever remember being picked up by a player, but he [De Jongh] lifted me like I was a piece of paper,” said Komphela. “Emotions are triggered by a deep understanding. We have been telling him that he has a good shot, and when it went in I think that belief was re-affirmed and it set off that emotion in him. It was unbelievable.”

Reacting to the prospect of this being the greatest match ever seen at Harry Gwala, Komphela attributed the quality of the affair to his side’s early goal.

“I think we actually set the house on fire the minute we scored,” he said. “They [Chiefs] got angry and came back and scored, and then we were back in the lead. We kept them in the anger zone and that is what made it a very good football match. I am very pleased.”

The signs are encouraging for United after Komphela’s four points from a possible six in his first two matches in charge. An away fixture at Mpumalanga Black Aces awaits on Sunday, and that is a game that United will be looking to win given their last two performances.

“We are marching on. We could have gotten three points, but the point we did get was crucial. Every point that we can add on to what we already have is a plus,” said Komphela.

Chiefs manager Stuart Baxter wasn’t in the best of moods after the match, and in what has become familiar fashion he bemoaned some of the refereeing decisions. But even he couldn’t take anything away from United’s performance on the night. “I thought Maritzburg were brave and they played well. They played with a lot of energy and a lot of commitment and I’m not surprised, because Steve’s teams do,” said the Englishman.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.