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Rescheduled Absa Premiership fixture starts from scratch

Kaizer Chiefs and Black Leopards will have another go at completing their Absa Premiership clash at Soccer City on Wednesday. Kick-off is at 19h30.

The original fixture was played at the same venue on Saturday, but had to be abandoned after 33 minutes as a combination of hail and heavy rain made the pitch unplayable. It was bad luck for Chiefs, who had raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Bernard Parker and Kingston Nkhatha.

But the game will start again from the first minute at 0-0, with goals wiped off the record books and Leopards handed one giant reprieve.

Whether they have enough quality to take their second chance remains to be seen, they looked well off the pace and completely outclassed in the first game.

Their coach, Sunday Chidzambwa, admits his team looked awestruck at playing the AmaKhosi, unable to handle their quick passing game.

“The first 20 minutes we were not present, we were not in the game. We gave away two easy goals and I think we were watching Chiefs playing the match," the Zimbabwean said of the first game.

"We’ve never played so badly, but thank God the rain saved us. Chiefs were all over us. We will change our approach on Wednesday and our plan. We will try to keep it tight.”

Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter believes his biggest challenge in the lead-up to the second match will be getting his players in the right head-space, and enforcing that they need to put the comfortable opening half-hour of Saturday to the back of their minds.

“It's frustrating [the abandonment] because we were playing well we were controlling the game. We worked hard during the week to get where we were with international players coming back after a long break.”

There have been questions over whether the game should start from scratch or continue with the same scoreline from 33 minutes, but PSL rules are clear:
"According to Rule 8.14 of the National Soccer League Rules, if a match is abandoned through weather or the state of the pitch, the League will set another date on which the match will be played," the PSL says. “All records of an abandoned match will be expunged except dismissals incurred."

Chiefs will go to the top of the table with a draw, but a win would give them a two-point advantage over second-placed Maritzburg United.

With title rivals Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns both having made stuttering starts to the new season, AmaKhosi will be desperate to profit and build an early lead in the championship race.

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