Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
12 Aug 2019
9:44 am

Chiefs ‘a work in progress’

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Middendorp is happy with Chiefs' improvement but also admitted they are still a work in progress.

New Maritzburg United head coach Ernst Middendorp (Photo by Gallo Images)

Kaizer Chiefs’ good start to their Absa Premiership campaign continued with Ernst Middendorp’s side again able to grind out a result with a 1-0 win over Black Leopards at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

While many may have not paid any mind when Middendorp was rueing Erick Mathoho’s unavailability towards the end of last season and waxing lyrical about his availability in pre-season, the towering defender is proving the German right.|

“Tower”, as Mathoho (below) is known, was again the main man for Chiefs with his 12th-minute header helping the Soweto giants to their second win in a row. He scored the winning goal in the 3-2 victory at Highlands Park in their opening match.

READ: It was not pleasing, but Chiefs got the job done

Mathoho also did his defensive duties with aplomb and was deservedly named Man of the Match in Durban. He has grown enormously and is no longer shy to shout instructions to his fellow defenders.

Middendorp said he was happy with the improvement but also admitted they are still a work in progress.

“Ending the two games in a position where we have six points is something that we had been dreaming about and not really convinced that it could be possible with the number of new players in the team. With the new players I include the guys who have not been able to play in the last six months.

“In particular, and I will repeat this again and again, Erick Mathoho is a new player, Lebogang Manyama is also a new player for me,” said Middendorp.

Chiefs had chances to score more but a combination of Jonas Mendes’ goalkeeping and their lack of sharpness in front of goal saw them fluff those opportunities.

“We made it a little difficult for ourselves. I think with more calmness, with better movement we could have got a second goal,” said Middendorp.

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