Two more ‘cup finals’ for Chiefs

Cavin Johnson and Kaizer Chiefs are currently holding on to eighth spot in the DStv Premiership with two rounds remaining. | BackpagePix

Cavin Johnson and Kaizer Chiefs are currently holding on to eighth spot in the DStv Premiership with two rounds remaining. | BackpagePix

Published May 14, 2024


Smiso Msomi

Kaizer Chiefs interim head coach Cavin Johnson believes his team will have to treat their remaining league games like cup finals with their top-eight ambitions hanging by a thread.

Amakhosi are currently eighth in the DStv Premiership with a match against Polokwane City to come on Saturday before they close out the season away against already-relegated Cape Town Spurs.

The Glamour Boys are realistically the only side still in danger of dropping out of the top eight with seventh-placed Cape Town City four points ahead of them.

The Naturena-based outfit, on 35 points, leads a group of six teams still in with a chance of making next season’s MTN8 competition with 13th-placed Moroka Swallows still in with a shout on 32 points with two games remaining.

Ashley du Preez of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates his goal during the DStv Premiership match between AmaZulu FC and Kaizer Chiefs at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu BackpagePix

Johnson, who is to return to his role as head of development at the club at the end of the season, highlighted the importance of his team cementing their top-eight place and the attitude they’d need to apply to close out the 2023/2024 season.

“At the moment it’s about winning every game. The top eight is very important to the club, it’s very vital, so we have to take the next two games as cup finals,” he said, after his side’s draw against AmaZulu.

“We tried to do that in the last six games and you can see with (Sunday’s) game, the game before this as well, I don’t think the team is playing bad football but the problem is we’re not putting the ball at the back of the net.”

Chiefs were able to hold off the challenge of one of their direct competitors in Durban while returning to eighth spot having dropped out before the game.

Amakhosi broke the deadlock through Ashley du Preez in the second minute before being pegged back by a controversial Victor Letsoalo equaliser in the 37th minute of the game.

The two teams struggled to strike any significant blows and in the end had to settle for a point, a result that did not please Johnson. The 65-year-old was also not too pleased with the nature in which his side conceded the equaliser.

In what has become a frequent occurrence in the top flight this season, he expressed his frustration at the officiating team who seemed to lose communication at various points of the game.

“In the first half, we should’ve scored more than one goal but we conceded an offside goal against us because the officials lost communication. I thought it was very strange because how do you lose communication in the first 15 minutes of the game and I speak to the fourth official and she says she can’t do anything because their mics are not on,” he explained.

Johnson’s men have been guilty of failing to protect leads in recent games, which has, more often than not, seen them drop valuable points.

Chiefs have taken the lead against SuperSport United, TS Galaxy and most recently AmaZulu before allowing the opposition a way back into the game.

Johnson admitted that it was a trait he was not too happy about, “where we lead the opposition then we tend to concede soft goals”.

“But when you look at this one and see that it was offside and you’ve drawn the game, it leaves a certain taste in your mouth.”