Bush Bucks threw a spanner in the works of Orlando Pirates when they beat them 1-0 on Wednesday – and the result revived Kaizer Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral’s hopes of winning the league title.
Chiefs were in Confederation of African Football (Caf) Cup action on Wednesday against Stade Tamponnaise of Reunion while Pirates were trying to tighten their hold on the log leadership.
Speaking after the match against the Reunion side, which the Glamour Boys of Soweto won 2-1, Ertugral said it was important to put up a good show at home as well as in the African club competition. Chiefs are fourth on the PSL log with 47 points from 28 matches, with six matches to go.
At best Chiefs can end the season with 65 points if they win all their remaining matches and that means beating Pirates and Sundowns along the way. Meanwhile, Pirates only need 12 points to clinch the championship.
“The league is still a possibility,” said Ertugral. “It’s now an open race and we just have to win all our remaining matches. We still have to play Pirates and Sundowns and that could be the turning point in our title race.”
According to the latest available Premier Soccer League fixtures, Chiefs will be in action on May 7 against three-time champions Sundowns at Loftus, but that match might be postponed, as they have a Caf assignment that weekend.
But the league championship is not the only thing on Ertugral’s mind. They have a tricky clash away to Bloemfontein Celtic on April 24 in the Bob Save Super Bowl. The Free State side is fighting a battle of their lives as they try to escape the chop and a Super Bowl prize could spur them on.
“It is also important to stay focused in the Bob Save,” said Ertugral, who threw most of the youngsters into the deep end against Stade Tamponnaise. “These youngsters are hungry for success and I believe this is the time to test them.”
But Ertugral almost paid dearly for his gamble with the reserve players and when his plan did not work out, he brought on some of the regular players. Siyabonga Nomvete was introduced in place of Justice Sithole on the half-hour mark.
“Justice is a promising youngster and he only needs time to develop,” said Ertugral. “I had to take him off as he picked up an injury.”
In their next Caf Cup fixture, Chiefs will play against Sunshine of Seychelles on the weekend of May 11 and 13.