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By Sibongiseni Gumbi

Football Writer


Hlanti not dwelling on Chiefs defensive blunders ahead of derby

'We know it is not a great feeling conceding silly goals. But we are working on that. And we are hoping things will go the way we want.'


Kaizer Chiefs have been their own worst enemy in terms of conceding silly goals from defensive blunders and Sifiso Hlanti admits that. 

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But the veteran defender says it is part of the game and does not want to dwell on them ahead of a crucial Soweto derby match at the weekend. 

Chiefs host traditional rivals Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the Nedbank Cup semifinals. 

“I will not say it is a worrying factor,” said Hlanti when asked about it during a media conference at Naturena on Wednesday morning. 

“This is a game of mistakes … at some stage we need to try and do away with such things. 

“But all in all, I think it is always a team effort. We make mistakes in the game and we try to rectify and at the end of the day we need to soldier on and be positive.” 

Hlanti, however, admits that it weighs heavily on the team and that they are working on rooting it out. 

“We know it is not a great feeling conceding silly goals. But we are working on that. And we are hoping things will go the way we want.”

Chiefs have slipped up on their chase for the second spot in the league and currently trail Pirates by five points. 

That could be extended to eight should Pirates win against Royal AM on Wednesday afternoon.

Chiefs should redeem themselves, says Hlanti 

That leaves Chiefs with only the Nedbank Cup to salvage their season.

“We need to try and redeem ourselves. We don’t need to put ourselves under pressure,” added Hlanti. 

“Playing against Pirates is always a fight and a special occasion not only for us, but everyone in the country. 

“We want to make things happen and know they have a plan – we also have a plan of our own and it will be an exciting game.”

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Chiefs have beaten Pirates in the past five official Soweto derby matches. They go into this one as underdogs following uninspired displays of late. 

But Hlanti and company should be at their best in the derby, a match they seem to enjoy and take more seriously than any other. 

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