Chiefs, Supersport off to fliers.
Kaizer Chiefs and Supersport United got off to good starts in their quest to conquer Africa. Amakhosi were 3-0 winners over Namibia’s Black Africa in a CAF Champions League match, while United recorded a similarly comfortable 2-0 win over Botswanan opposition in a CAF Confederations Cup match. Both Black Africa and Gaborone United did not offer much in the first leg and based on those performances, the South African sides will be confident of advancing to the next stage of the competitions, especially since both sides fielded weakened teams.
Supersport who failed to qualify for the group stages of the competition last season, will look to improve on that record and possibly go all the way. They take a 2-0 cushion into the second leg and will feel the need to wrap up the game early to prevent the home side from overturning their lead. Chiefs remain the only South African team to have won the CAF Confederations Cup, back in 2001 when it was still known as the Mandela Cup. But Amakhosi’s performance in the CAF Champions League has been far less successful with their best performance having an appearance in the last 16.
Amakhosi made their return to the Champions league with a 3-0 win against Black Africa after a nine year absence from the competition, this after they were banned from the tournament in 2005 for withdrawing from the champions league because of financial constraints. The Primer Soccer League has since made available 1 million rands for any South African team qualifying for the group stages.
The Glamour Boys have had a great run in the league and will be under pressure to replicate that form in the Champions league, especially after their arch-rivals Orlando Pirates’ success in the competition. Although it’s still early days, Chiefs under Stuart Baxter look like a side capable of launching an assault on the title. They have a good capable squad with international experience. The real test for both Chiefs and Supersport will in all likelihood come in the third round of the competitions, when they will need to qualify for the group stages.