“This is the result we wanted,” says Ernst Middendorp after seeing through his side winning their second successive match of the season. “Credit to the entire organisation. We really worked hard for this win. I’m happy with the three points.”
Kaizer Chiefs beat Black Leopard 1-0 in their second Absa Premiership match of the 2019/20 season on Saturday night. Man of the Match Mulomowandau Mathoho scored by heading home a brilliantly taken George Maluleka corner kick in the 12th minute of the match.
“We had several chances to score more goals,” adds Middendorp. “When you’ve collected three points it makes it easy to go back and fix the mistakes. I am happy with the start of the season.
“It is good to play and win with new the players we’ve introduce,” comments a visibly happy Middendorp. “The new players have made a difference and gelling well with the team.”
Middendorp was forced to alter his plans before kick-off. “Bruce Bvuma felt some discomfort to his groin area during the week,” says Middendorp, “The technical team thought he was going to be fine to play but unfortunately the pain persisted during warm-up. We took a decision to withdraw him and put him on the bench because we didn’t want to risk aggravating the injury.”
The coach went into the second match of the season without Khama Billiat and he says: “It is a matter of managing the player. I see the matter is receiving interest but everybody at Chiefs is aware that Khama Billiat struggled with his knee during Afcon and we are trying to give him the necessary care to recover. He will have time in the next week to recover and be available for selection in the next match.”
In terms of the goalkeeping area, “we have resolved that area with both Bruce Bvuma and Daniel Akpeyi doing well,” Middendorp says in closing. “You saw on Saturday Akpeyi did well. His presence and command of the back row was fantastic. Work on Itumeleng Khune continues. He’s been playing in some practice matches. He is left with only one full practice match to be available for selection.”
Chiefs host SuperSport United in their next Absa Premiership match. The encounter is scheduled for FNB Stadium on 24 August.