Contrasting emotions for Soweto giants
It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for South Africa’s two most popular clubs as Orlando Pirates showed signs of improvement with a come-from-behind win, while Kaizer Chiefs currently seem to be regressing after what had been a promising transfer window for them.
Time for a shake-up at Chiefs?
Things have been getting progressively worse this season for Amakhosi and the latest setback, a 4-1 hammering at the hands of Royal AM, will have left the team in disarray. Not one player came away with any credit on Saturday and perhaps it’s time for head coach Stuart Baxter to shake things up by replacing some of the older guard with more youthful and hungry players because his faith in the senior citizens is not paying off.
Mabasa key to Orlando Pirates’ hopes
For any team to challenge for the league, they’re usually going to need a striker capable of scoring in the region of 15-plus goals for the season. Nearly every time Tshegofatso Mabasa plays, he seems to score. If Bucs can keep him fit, and get some support from their other attackers, they could be outsiders for the title. They may need to tighten up their defence, but the come-from-behind win over Chippa United showed good character and desire, a positive for them.
Mamelodi Sundowns looking unstoppable?
Sundowns were not even at their best against TS Galaxy on Sunday and went into he interval locked at 0-0. But they turned on the class in the second half with goals from Mosa Lebusa, Peter Shalulile and Thabiso Kutumela. It was Kutumela’s first for the club and if he shows the form he did last season for Maritzburg United and combines with Shalulile, Downs seem almost unstoppable.
Letsoalo’s star on the rise
Victor Letsoalo has scored three goals in only two matches for Royal AM this term, and is netting at a rate of a goal every 60 minutes. He had a game he’ll remember forever after scoring the opening two goals against Amakhosi at the FNB Stadium, the second a sumptuous free kick. Having played for many years in the second tier, the former African Warriors star is making his name not only in the PSL now, but has also been in recent national team squads – on debut he netted a hat-trick for Bafana Bafana in a Cosafa Cup win over Lesotho back in July.
Can Hunt revive Mahlambi’s career?
It was great to see Phakamani Mahlambi scoring against Orlando Pirates on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The goal showed his trademark pace and skill and was well taken. And while his side ended up losing, it will be a big positive for Chippa coach Gavin Hunt if he can get the on-loan Mahlambi back to his best.
The pair previously worked together at Bidvest Wits, where Mahlambi was seen as one of South Africa’s brightest prospects, only for his career to have gone off the rails during subsequent stints at Mamelodi Sundowns, AmaZulu and Egyptian side Al Ahly.