Sundowns wary of wounded Chiefs
FOUR defeats in a row - one of these in a cup game - have done little to diminish the optimism of Doctor Khumalo.
Khumalo, one part of Kaizer Chiefs' new coaching triumvirate - the others being Donald Khuse and Arthur Zwane - is refusing to give up on the club's chances of winning the league, no matter how slim these now appear to be.
Amakhosi face the daunting task of playing log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns tonight at Soccer City in Johannesburg and Khumalo is hanging onto the mathematical chance of the club still winning the trophy.
He believes Chiefs can still be in the race by the time the game is over tonight.
But Sundowns are equally motivated to win the match to bolster their own title hopes.
"Chiefs beat us in the first round so we can't afford to lose against them again," said Sundowns assistant coach Alex Bapela.
But he was quick to point out that it would not be an easy match after Chiefs lost four consecutive games, and "will want to regroup at our expense".
Added Khumalo: "The league has not been won yet. We have four games to go and the most important thing is to win our next game. We can do better against Sundowns.
"There is no doubt that we can improve.
"We can once again not afford to drop our heads."
Amakhosi are still licking their wounds following the weekend's 2-1 defeat by SuperSport United that put a further dent in their hopes of lifting the trophy.
Khumalo believes the side has moved on from the defeat, placing focus on their remaining matches.
Sundowns will be riding high going into the match after their 3-1 win over Santos on Sunday that saw them regain top spot.
The Brazilians have the best away record in the league this season - having won eight matches, drawn five and lost one of their 14 fixtures on their travels.
Chiefs have seen a dip in their home record. In their 12 home games, they have won seven, drawn one and lost four, and were holding on to sixth spot on the log.
Sundowns will be without the injured Teko Modise and Katlego Mphela but will be hoping that Nyasha Mushekwi will continue his fine scoring form.
Lehlohonolo Majoro will spearheard the Chiefs attack.
- Tonight's other matches:
Athlone: Santos vs Free State Stars, Princess Magogo: Lamontville Golden Arrows vs Wits, Royal Bafokeng: Platinum Stars vs Jomo Cosmos, Free State Stadium: Bloemfontein Celtic vs Ajax Cape Town.
- All the matches start at 7.30pm.
- Black Leopards, who are still smarting from a 3-1 defeat by Warri Wolves in the CAF Confederation Cup at the weekend, will be hoping to make amends at the expense of Moroka Swallows at Giyani Stadium on Friday night.