Amakhosi defender Daniel Cardoso would like nothing more than to pick up three points when Chiefs face Maritzburg United in their final game of 2019 at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday afternoon.
Cardoso was not happy with the result when the teams met in a Telkom Knockout out semi-final clash on 24 November, which resulted in a 2-1 win for Maritzburg and saw Chiefs eliminated from the tournament.
The Chiefs defender is not underestimating Maritzburg and is aware of the task that lies ahead for Chiefs. He says: “Last time we played them we lost. We were on a good run and they broke our momentum. It’s going to be a tough one again. They were unlucky to lose in the Telkom Knockout final on the weekend. They are a good team with good players and a good coach.”
Cardoso has started and completed all 13 of Chiefs’ league outings this season has been hard at work this week in preparation for Sunday’s clash. The defender has also scored three crucial goals this season. He believes that he and the team are on the right track as they head into their final game of 2019.
“We have had some time since our last league game to get our fitness levels back up again. We have been training well over the last week or so. I know in the cup game against Maritzburg my performance was not up to my usual standard,” he admits.
“It was not easy on me after the last game against Maritzburg, but we won two league games after that and we go into this game with a positive attitude and heading into the festive break what is important is that we maintain our nine point lead at the top of the table.”
Cardoso believes the team has been doing well as a unit and will be looking to continue their recent good run of results in the league with another good showing against Maritzburg as he explains, “as a team we have been working well together. We have the second best defence in the league and have scored the most goals. As a unit we are doing well, we have been working hard at training and we need to ensure that we keep it tight at the back don’t concede and score up front”.
The 30-year-old Cardoso who has scored three goals this season and provided an assist in Chiefs’ last league win over Celtic – a 5-3 triumph – is now looking forward to the game and then putting his feet up for a few days before returning to training to prepare for Chiefs first game in 2020 against SuperSport United on the 4th January 2020.
“It’s always vital to end the year with a win. Coming home from Pietermaritzburg with a win will be great for us. We can go home relax for a few days with the family knowing we don’t have to put pressure on ourselves, we can then comeback after Christmas and start preparing for the game against SuperSport,” he concludes.
Chiefs are currently top of the table, having won eleven of their first 13 league games of the season and will be targeting another win to consolidate their position at the top of the Absa Premiership table.