Cardoso thriving with Kaizer Chiefs leadership role
Daniel Cardoso is thriving under his leadership of the defence role at the heart of Kaizer Chiefs’ back three‚ the centreback has said.
This season the former Free State Stars defender has gone from being a fringe centreback‚ called on when there are injuries‚ to the ever-present stalwart in coach Steve Komphela’s back three.
Cardoso is the man expected to marshal whoever from Mulomowandau Mathoho‚ Teenage Hadebe‚ Siyabonga Ngezana or Ramahlwe Mphahlele play on either side of him.
He‚ Ngezana and Mphahlele might have seen three goals put past them in Saturday’s 3-1 Soweto derby defeat against Orlando Pirates‚ but mostly the back three have been the cornerstone behind Chiefs conceding the second-least goals (15) in the PSL.
“Look‚ I have thought I have had a good season. But it’s not me alone‚” Cardoso said this week ahead of Saturday night’s Nedbank Cup last-16 matchup against Stellenbosch FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
“I’ve got Itumeleng Khune at the keeper who has been helping us also quite a bit. And then there’s me helping the youngsters come through.
“And not conceding a lot of goals this season has been a big positive for us considering last season’s performance.
“I’ve been a pillar at the back along with my left and right centrebacks who play with me. It’s a team performance.”
Zimbabwean Hadebe’s introduction since recovering from the ankle injury he arrived with signing from Chicken Inn ate the start of the season has added value in that back three.
“He’s a natural left-footer and the only one in the team who can play as a left centreback. And it helps us out a lot‚” Cardoso said.
“It’s just unfortunate that he’s been injured in the past few games because I think that would have made a difference if he’d been there.”
Cardoso said Stellenbosch‚ currently in ninth place in the National First Division‚ will be no easy outfit to beat.
“We played them last season in the last-32 and beat them 3-0. They’re not a walkover‚” he said.
“They went into the promotion playoffs last season. And look‚ any team that comes up against Chiefs they’re always going to fight. If they beat us it’s a big feeling for them.
“We’re not going to take it as an easy game. It’s another chance for us to step up and take another trophy.”
With Chiefs having gone without a trophy as Komphela approaches the end of his third season‚ the Nedbank could be Amakhosi’s last chance to rectify that‚ and perhaps save the coach’s job.
AmaZulu 2 Ubuntu Cape Town 3
Free State Stars v Chippa United (Goble Park‚ 3.30pm)
Baroka FC v Steenberg United (Peter Mokaba Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
Kaizer Chiefs v Stellenbosch FC (Moses Mabhida Stadium‚ 8.15pm)
Royal Eagles v Maritzburg United (Princess Magogo Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
Bloemfontein Celtic v Richards Bay (Dr Molemela Stadium‚ 3.30pm)
Mamelodi Sundowns v EC Bees (Loftus Versfeld Stadium‚ 7.30)
Cape Town City v Orlando Pirates (Cape Town Stadium‚ 7.30pm)