TS Galaxy – Winner
TS Galaxy crossed over into 2022 with the burden of being the league’s bottom club. Even then, they still had the consolation that Baroka were only above them by goal difference. For the first time in a while, and thanks to the weekend’s 1-0 win, there is some breathing space between themselves and Baroka, even if it is just a four-point lead. While a lot of the media focus will be on a massive coming weekend for PSL sides in CAF, the league calendar features the league’s four bottom sides going head-to-head. The win this weekend couldn’t have been better timed.
1 – TS Galaxy’s win over Sekhukhune was their first win in seven games.
Chippa United – Winner
Chippa had not won a home game all season, so this was a welcome first. Coming in their 12th home game, it’s the longest they’ve ever gone from the start of a season to get their first home win. This was only the second time they won a home game since Port Elizabeth was renamed Gqeberha (Feb 2021). The irony was that both wins have come against Stellenbosch, with Kurt Lentjies scoring in the 1st and overseeing the 2nd. But the ironies don’t stop there:
2 – Sammy Seabi has scored two goals for Chippa this season – the first away to Stellenbosch & the second at home to Stellenbosch.
With Maritzburg only managing a draw, the win helped them climb up to 12th.
Marumo Gallants – Winner
Since the penalty shootout victory over Orlando Pirates, Dan Malesela’s side had failed to score in three consecutive games. They’re winners here not because they scored a goal, but because they secured that 30th point usually considered enough for safety. For a side that was winless in the first nine games, that’s pretty remarkable.
26 – Only Cape Town City (28) & Sundowns (32) have won more points than Gallants since Malesela took charge (26).
Brandon Truter – Winner
Successive wins for Truter in his new role at Usuthu. For context, AmaZulu won two league games in a row just once under his predecessor this season.
Andre Arendse – Winner
Another positive start for an interim coach.
20 – Supersport have now won 20 league games against Chiefs; their joint-most against a single PSL side (20 also v Arrows).
Stuart Baxter – Loser
‘If they want me to go, I will go. I’m the only coach to bring Chiefs success in 20 years’- Baxter
There was an unhidden irony in Stuart Baxter issuing a desperate plea to the supporters to get behind him and the teams in trying times. Not only was the 20-year timeline wildly inaccurate, but the questions around Stuart Baxter are also about the teams’ performances today not six years ago. One could even wonder if the discontent is so loud because the team’s results today are in stark contrast to the results under the same coach six years ago. In that sense, Baxter is a victim of his own success. If a no-name coach had come in at the start of the season and kept his team four points from a Top 2 finish with seven games to go, that may have been seen in a different light. But under Baxter, the feeling of failure is never too far away.
Yet, a stat like this would provoke anger whether a well-known coach like Pep Guardiola was in charge.
0 – Kaizer Chiefs are the only team in South Africa’s top two divisions yet to score in a home game in 2022.
Swallows – Loser
For a second successive game, Swallows opened the scoring against an opponent, and for the second successive week, they gave away that lead. They still got off with a point, but in the context of the relegation battle, four points dropped from winning positions could prove crucial. On a weekend where fellow strugglers Chippa and TS Galaxy managed to hold on to their leads, Swallows will regret this even more.
South African sides in CAF – Loser
This weekend was never going to be easy for PSL sides in CAF. No PSL side had ever won a match away to Simba, with Orlando Pirates the third side to visit. At the same time, Sundowns were winless in away CAF games when travelling to Angola, losing twice and drawing once before. The VAR controversies will grab the attention, but Pirates & Chiefs’ management knows they have extra work to do on the training ground to reverse these results.
13 – For the first time in 13 years, Chiefs, Pirates, and Sundowns all lost on the same weekend – this last happened in March 2009.
Ernst Middendorp – Loser
Another KZN derby, another poor result for the German. With five games to play, the last of which comes against Baroka, Maritzburg are not yet assured of safety. The last thing Middendorp would want is for the Baroka clash to be a relegation playoff.
1 – Maritzburg have won just one of their last nine KZN derbies with Middendorp in charge (W1 D4 L4 v Arrows & AmaZulu in two spells).