Chiefs' Khumalo and Twala in full training‚ but still to be assessed for big game against Downs
Sibusiso Khumalo and William Twala‚ the Kaizer Chiefs’ duo recovering from injury‚ have resumed full training but have not been cleared yet as available for Saturday’s big Premier Soccer League fixture against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Amakhosi travel to Loftus Versfeld to meet new African champions Sundowns (3.30pm) on Saturday on the back of a penalties Telkom Knockout quarterfinal defeat against Free State Stars in Durban two Sundays ago‚ which finished 2-2 after extra time.
Chiefs meet a Downs side who – apart from their Bafana Bafana and other international call-ups – have finally had some form of meaningful break after their run to winning the Caf Champions League.
Left-back Khumalo (muscle strain) and winger Twala (knock to his ankle) picked up their injuries in the 6-5 penalties loss coming on as substitutes against Stars.
“They are on checkup and under assessment. They are training‚ but there’s nothing declared on them on whether they are in or not‚” said Chiefs’ communications manager Vina Maphosa on Wednesday.
“They are in full training‚ and still in contention‚ but a final assessment must be done.”
Chiefs coach Steve Komphela now has two trophies left to compete for in 2016-17 – the league and end-of-season Nedbank Cup – after finishing without silverware at the country’s biggest-supported club last season.
Amakhosi bombed out of this season’s first cup competition‚ the MTN8‚ at the first hurdle with a 2-1 defeat away against Cape Town City.
“Any coach should have such hunger [to win trophies] irrespective of where they are. The only thing that gets worse with this one [Chiefs] is that you have to win everything‚” Komphela said after the defeat against a fired-up Free State.
“We were in two cup finals last season and it was not good enough. Now you can imagine if you don’t even win a trophy.
“And the nature of our [coach’s] business is pressure. It’s just a pity we could not get the result against Stars.
“Our previous three matches were all draws‚ even though we did go through on penalties against Maritzburg.
“Then again‚ you ask yourself as a coach‚ you want to solve the problem of scoring‚ which we did‚ coming back twice against Stars‚ and we had enough chances to score even more.
“But you’re not through to the next round. Whether it was influenced in some way by the previous three matches you will never know.
“But the performance was very good against Stars‚ and chances were created‚” Komphela said.
- TMG Sport/The Times