1 minute read
5 Apr 2014
8:00 am

All the drama of a title-decider

It is one thing to hold a potentially winning hand; quite another to know precisely before the pivotal moment of truth exactly what cards your opponent has hidden.

It is very much in this vein that Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns go into tonight’s increasingly crucial PSL match at the FNB Stadium on the fringes of Soweto.

Chiefs have been the team to chase throughout the season, storming seemingly unchallenged to the pinnacle of the Premier League charts, with many conce-ding weeks ago that the title was a foregone conclusion and any number of managers muttering bleakly about a “top three” or a “top eight” finish.

Interestingly, this blanket of acceptance missed Sundowns, and while they have played a game more than the much-hyped Nabobs of Naturena, they have inexorably crept into the frame.

That extra game could still prove to be the clincher, but the sudden realisation is there for all to see. A victory by a Downs side, expensively assembled using mining magnate Patrice Motsepe’s serried millions, will bring them to the exalted level of being equal on points with Amakhosi.

It has been an exercise in patient professionalism, which has brought the Pretoria side to where they now find themselves and, while it would be harsh to refer to Chiefs imploding, the slide from the balmy days where they held a nine-point lead in the league title race has certainly been a slow erosion.

It would be simplistic to point to the failure by Chiefs to advance further than they did in the Caf Champions League, but the devastating 3-0 loss in the opening leg against AS Vita Club in the first-leg tie in Kinshasa has certainly been a contributory factor.

The Brazilians come into the encounter on a five-game winning streak, while Chiefs are unbeaten at home this season. It might not be a title decider but, on merit alone, it deserves to be.