Blom revels in sweet Derby victory

Njabulo Blom is a feisty, ultra-competitive footballer who loves winning any football match, but he was beaming proudly after his man-of-the match performance in the sweet Soweto Derby victory.

“It’s always a great feeling winning games, but the Soweto Derby is a special game. I am so happy,” Blom said as he picked up his man of the match gong after Chiefs’ last-gasp 2-1 DStv Premiership Derby victory.

Keagan Dolly’s debut Derby double helped Chiefs claim all three points, but it was a nuggety display at right back from Blom that ensured he enhanced his flowering reputation even more.

“It was a tough game. I’d like to thank God for the strength and wisdom he gave us, the push that he gave me and as a team for the fighting spirit. I’d like to thank God for giving us the three points. Kaizer Chiefs supporters, we promised you we will give you our best in each and every game and we displayed that fighting spirit on the field today,” Blom humbly said after the game.

Coach Stuart Baxter hailed Dobsonville’s Blom for his maturity for responding with a stellar second half performance that helped Chiefs to victory.

“It’s massive. It isn’t just about him having a good game. It’s about the inspiration he gives to others that have been where he’s been,” Baxter said of the powerful statement a local Soweto boy winning man of the match in the Derby sends to other aspiring young footballers.

“When he comes back after the first half and he’s excellent in the second half. If there’s one player, with no disrespect to the other players, that’s got a big game in him and where he can step up – and has the right ingredients – to step up at a very high level, I think that’s Njabulo Blom. The national team are going to get a lot of good service from him as you move down the years,” Baxter added.

Of the game, the Chiefs coach felt Amakhosi controlled the game, though they allowed Pirates back in with passive pressing that nearly hurt them.

In the end, though, Baxter felt the result was a fair one.

“I thought chance-wise we had more chances and I was wondering is this going to be one of those games where I thought we did well, but missed chances, and gave away a poor goal. But the lads came back. I am happy. I am proud of them. They pushed on hard in a critical phase. That’s the kind of things that can happen in bad weather. Defenders can panic and we got ourselves a penalty and won the game and I have to say it was deserved,” Baxter said of the helter-skelter closing stages of the game, which saw Pirates defender Olisah Ndah pull down Khama Billiat to gift Dolly the chance to grab a late win for Chiefs.

Baxter also praised another Derby debutant in Sibusiso Mabiliso.

“He stood up and he was counted tonight. He gave a solid performance, a solid performance in your very first Soweto Derby is a very good performance,” said Baxter.

Amakhosi’s coach felt the game again reinforced the feeling that “if we play the way we can play then we can beat anybody in the league”.

“But at the same time, we can be our own worst enemy and can be picked off by anybody in the league. That is a characteristic we have to change. We have to be more consistent, we have to make sure that when we have got the chance to put the game to bed we put it to bed, and then we don’t give away a silly chance. We’ve known that for a while already and we’re working very hard to put it right,” Baxter said in conclusion.