Former Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp made a victorious return against the club that axed him in September following their league implosion last season.
Middendorp’s Maritzuburg United inflicted a 2-0 defeat over Amakhosi on Saturday night and now Chiefs find themselves only one point outside the relegation zone following their loss.
Amakhosi find themselves in unchartered territory in 14th place with a mere seven points after nine games.
The club could find itself in real trouble should the bottom two teams Chippa United and Black Leopards get positive results in the next round.
The Soweto club was outplayed by the tenacious United – thanks to a brace from Judas Moseamedi – at FNB Stadium.
Moseamedi scored in the 66th and 79th minutes. He used his instincts inside the box to good effect for his first goal as he pounced on a loose ball to head the ball into the net.
The second goal came directly from a throw-in, which he controlled nicely and shot past Daniel Akpeyi from an acute angle.
Middendorp knows the Chiefs players all too well and was able to use his inside knowledge of the opponent to good effect.
The German’s return to the Team of Choice in November has been effective as he has managed to lift the team from the bottom of the table. United are in 12th position with eight points from 10 games.
Domestically, Chiefs continue to struggle, but are doing well in continental football after qualifying for the group stages of the CAF Champions League.
It will not get any easier for the club as they will be juggling domestic and CAF obligations.
CAF participation has in the past affected the domestic form of many PSL teams. With the club unable to sign players due to their transfer ban, Gavin Hunt has a major headache on his hands with such a limited squad.
Their star striker from last season, Samir Nurkovic, made his first appearance for the team on Saturday. The Serb entered the game in the 59th minute to replace Leonardo Castro.
Nurkovic has been the subject of transfer speculation and has been linked with a few African giants, including Egypt’s Al Ahly. The foreign interest appears to have unsettled him and fans have been questioning his attitude.
Chiefs will need all their players to dig deep in the coming games to avoid what would be disaster.
The team will next face a resurgent AmaZulu in Durban on Wednesday.