Champions League the last place for Kaizer Chiefs to chase glory in dismal 2020-21 season

Anthony Akumu Agay and Lazarous Kambole of Kaizer Chiefs warm up before a Premiership match against SuperSport United at FNB Stadium on February 20 2021 in Johannesburg.
Anthony Akumu Agay and Lazarous Kambole of Kaizer Chiefs warm up before a Premiership match against SuperSport United at FNB Stadium on February 20 2021 in Johannesburg.
Image: GALLO IMAGES/BAKPAGEPIX/MUZI NTOMBELA

Kaizer Chiefs want to stay in the Caf Champions League with a win against Horoya in Conakry on Saturday because they know they are not doing well in the league‚ midfielder Kearyn Baccus has said.

Chiefs will not feel they have outright failed if they fall at the last hurdle in their first-ever group stage of the Africa’s premier continental competition‚ and are unable to get a favourable result in Guinea that will see them through to the quarterfinals.

Amakhosi’s DStv Premiership season has become a write-off. Their aims domestically now are to avoid their two worst league finishes of their current ninth placing‚ reach the top eight‚ and push for the highest possible position.

Given that‚ Baccus pointed out that the Champions League remains Chiefs’ last bastion at bringing some much-needed glory to an otherwise dismal 2020-21 season.

“The boys are in good spirits. We want to do well in the Champions League since we’re not doing so well in the league at the moment‚” the SA-born‚ Australian midfielder said.

“But yeah‚ we’re all excited. The boys got a day off this week‚ so we’re ready to go.”

The head-to-head ruling means Chiefs need a scoring draw or a win against tough Horoya‚ who drew 0-0 in Johannesburg in February‚ to reach the quarterfinals. Baccus thinks Amakhosi should go for a victory in Conakry‚ nothing less.

“For me‚ I’d rather attack and lose than defend and draw. So for me I think if we play all-out attack and go for it we’ve got nothing to lose‚” he said.

Chiefs have striker Samir Nurkovic and goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi – both red-carded in Saturday’s brave nine-man 1-0 win against an admittedly under-strength Wydad Casablanca at FNB Stadium in their last Group C game – suspended.

Wydad‚ who meet Angola’s Petro de Luanda (one point) in Morocco on Saturday‚ have 10 points‚ and second-placed Horoya and third-placed Chiefs eight each.

Amakhosi will need all their combinations they have at times struggled immensely to put together this campaign under coach Gavin Hunt to come together‚ and to put up a fighting performance against experienced‚ physical West Africans who are sure to employ more than a share of gamesmanship.

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