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CAF Champions League

Five reasons Kaizer Chiefs can dream about reaching Caf Champions League final

17:05 SAST 2021/06/21
Kaizer Chiefs vs Wydad Casablanca
Amakhosi took six points from their last two domestic fixtures to ensure they weren't potentially forced into the PSL promotion-relegation play-offs

In what has been the strangest of seasons for Kaizer Chiefs, the club are only 90 minutes away from the Caf Champions League final, just a few weeks after they avoided getting sucked into the PSL relegation battle.

  • Kaizer Chiefs warm up FNB Stadium

    Change of fortunes at the right time

    A lot has gone against the Glamour Boys this season. But it seems their luck is starting to return, and fortune was on Amakhosi's side last weekend when they saw off a strong challenge by Wydad Casablanca to earn a 1-0 first leg semi-final win.

    Here's five reasons why Chiefs can finish off the job at the FNB Stadium this Saturday:

     

  • Walid El Karti of Wydad Casablanca challenged by Willard Katsande of Kaizer Chiefs, June 2021

    1. Spirits and confidence high

    There never really seemed to be any major discontent during Gavin Hunt's tenure and it was for various reasons, at times just bad luck, that things never went the team's way under the four-time title winning coach.

    However, since Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard took over as caretaker coaches, and with the subsequent arrival of Stuart Baxter, there has appeared to be a healthy spirit of togetherness in the Amakhosi camp.

    They are also now on a three match winning streak, and the players' morale would have been boosted massively by last weekend's win, as well as the fact that the team was able to clinch an eighth-placed finish in the league.

    Chiefs can of course also take heart from their 1-0 home win over Wydad in the earlier rounds of this season's competition.

  • Bruce Bvuma, Kaizer Chiefs, May 2021

    2. Defensive unit improved

    Saturday night's performance relied a lot on solid defensive display. For the most part Reeve Frosler, Yagan Sasman, Eric Mathoho and Daniel Cardoso had solid games in Casablanca. And when the defence was breached, goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma showed himself to be in inspired form. Not only did Bvuma make some brilliant saves, but it was also his communication and command of the back-line impressed.

  • Joash Onyango of Simba SC vs Samir Nurkovic of Kaizer Chiefs.

    3. Samir Nurkovic, and VAR

    The Serbian scored a great goal on Saturday which will have boosted his confidence nicely. An on-form Nurkovic nearly powered Chiefs to the league title last season and the 29-year-old is a handful for any defence when on song.

    And having VAR - which came to Amakhosi's rescue last weekend, should ensure neither team is robbed by a poor match official decision.

  • Lebogang Manyama celebrates Kaizer Chiefs goal

    4. Playing for history

    There must be a feeling by now in the Chiefs camp that this could be their year. That for all their poor form domestically, fate perhaps has decided that Amakhosi could go all the way in Africa.

    And with two of the 'big three' - Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns - having already won the tournament, the current batch of Chiefs players have it in their hands to set the record straight and to attain legendary status.

  • Arthur Zwane Kaizer Chiefs

    5. Away goal could be the difference

    Last but certainly not least could be the importance of Chiefs' away goal in the first leg. For one thing that means a goalless draw, or any score draw, will be enough for Chiefs to go through.

    It will also mean that Wydad will have to chase the game in Soweto, which could allow them to be picked off on the counter.