Amakhosi resume their continental journey when they come up against Angolan opponents on Wednesday
It is a different test from the previous round for Amakhosi who are aiming for a maiden group stage spot on the backdrop of a difficult run on the domestic front.
After getting past Cameroonian champions PWD Bamenda in the preliminary round, Chiefs are not yet convincing enough to suggest that they can swat aside Agosto, who reached the semi-final of the 2018 Champions League.
Their struggle against Bamenda, by coach Gavin Hunt’s admission, was a cause for concern and this is backed by a winless run of six Premier Soccer League games.
However, the Soweto giants will be keen to deliver a solid performance against Agosto to end 2020 on a high and also boost their confidence going into the New Year.
|Game||Kaizer Chiefs vs Primeiro de Agosto|
|Date||Wednesday, December 23|
|Time||18:00 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
Hunt has been enduring a difficult time as Chiefs coach as he struggles to address his team’s weaknesses.
Week in, week out, the coach complains about his side’s poor finishing or defensive frailties, and emphasises the need to correct them.
However, there seems to be little hope to get it right for Chiefs as they continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Now much talk on Chiefs is about the imminent return of striker Samir Nurkovic from injury, and there are high expectations that the Serb’s comeback would solve Amakhosi’s woes in front of goal.
Nurkovic has started training with the rest of the squad but it is not yet clear if he will be fit enough to play on Wednesday.
Chiefs, however, welcome back midfielder Philani Zulu who missed their last league match against Bloemfontein Celtic due to suspension and is still suspended their next Premier Soccer League game.
Just like Chiefs, who boast of a number of international players, Agosto also have players who turn out for different national teams.
Veteran goalkeeper Toni and his rival between the sticks Neblu are Angola internationals together with Paizo, Herenilson, defender Dany, Isaac, and Jose Marcia who were all at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Defender Bobo Ungenda is a DR Congo international, while Yazid Atouba represented Cameroon at the 2016 African Nations Championship.
Such experience in the Agosto squad could give Hunt a picture of what his side is coming up against if all those players are fit to play on Wednesday.
While Chiefs have been struggling for form and looking for ways to get past this hurdle, they can bank on the fact that Agosto have not played a competitive match since March.
This is against Chiefs’ participation in 13 games across different competitions so far this season.
Match fitness will, therefore, not be a concern for Hunt, who battles to correct their glaring weaknesses in defence and attack.
Amakhosi’s opponents did not take part in the preliminary round of this competition after being given a bye.
While it will be the first time Chiefs face Agosto, their coach Hunt has come up against the Angolans before.
On their way to the 2018 Champions League final, Agosto eliminated Bidvest Wits in the first round when Hunt was still in charge of the Students.
Wednesday’s match will be the first time for Chiefs to meet Angolan opposition since 2001 when they were beaten in the final of the then Caf Cup Winners’ Cup by Interclube.