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By unknown | Feb 16, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Kaizer Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral believes Amakhosi are championship material, but admits that any of the top five teams on the log can wear the crown in May.

Ertugral's side were second on the standings before yesterday's games.

He was speaking after Chiefs' 2-1 win over an obdurate Bloemfontein Celtic in a thriller at Super Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday night.

Chiefs now trail reigning champions SuperSport United by four points.

Amakhosi's case as contenders for the title was made much stronger by Ajax Cape Town's failure to win earlier in the day.

"This race is not going to be easy and we will need to double our focus and treat each match as it comes," said Ertugral.

Though he praised all his charges for a sterling job against Celtic, defender Thabang Rooi was singled out for special praise.

"The boy has gained a lot of confidence and I strongly believe that he should have been voted the man of the match tonight," said a beaming Ertugral.

Celtic coach Owen da Gama also managed a smile after the encounter.

"I'm proud of this team," he said. "They all gave their best in this match and I respect them for their fighting spirit."

Da Gama denied that the presence of Celtic chairman Jimmy Augousti was a distraction.

"He is very helpful because he knows the players more than me. I also don't doubt his tactical acumen."

Da Gama said he would still consider Geofrey Serunkuma for penalties in the future even though the Ugandan forward failed to convert a late penalty that was saved by goalie Itumeleng Khune.

Siphiwe Tshabalala put Amakhosi in the lead in the ninth minute, but the capable Mark Mayambela canceled the lead with a beauty from a free kick four minutes later.

Chiefs got the clincher just before the hour mark from free-scoring forward Kaizer Motaung junior.


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