Orlando Pirates have been led by Kaizer Chiefs with a wide point gap for a while this season. On Saturday Chiefs had a chance to extend the gap from 7 points to 10 points when they faced Lamontville Golden Arrows at Moses Mabhida Stadium. However, they only managed to collect one point after the match ended in a 0-0 draw. Now Chiefs, who currently have 52 points, are 8 points ahead of Pirates. However, Pirates are two matches behind Chiefs. That means if they win their next two matches, they will only be 2 points behind. Clearly, the Buccaneers aren’t out of the competition as many people previously thought.
Tonight Pirates will face Ajax Cape Town at the Cape Town Stadium. From the records of the two teams this season, it seems like Pirates will go home with either 1 point or 3 points. It is highly unlikely for them to lose as they desperately need to catch up with Chiefs in order to stay in the run for the league title. Ajax haven’t been performing very well this season. They are currently sitting at the third position from the bottom of the log, with only 22 points. They have lost 11 matches, won only 5 and had 7 draws. Pirates on the other hand are at the third position with 44 points. They have lost only 3 matches, won 12 and had 8 draws. At the second position are Platinum Stars (45 points) who have been playing very well this season. Nonetheless, for some reason, very few Chiefs/Pirates supporters are worried about Platinum stars.
Kaizer Chiefs’ failure to win their previous match against Arrows last week was music to the ears of the Orlando Pirates fraternity. It restored their hope of successfully defending their championship for the third time in a row. However, even if Pirates win their next two games it may still be hard to overtake Chiefs and win the championship one more time. Chiefs are not willing to lose any match. Last week, Arrows failed to beat them even though Chiefs had only ten players on the field after Reneilwe Letsholonyane got a red card in the 33rd minute. With all eleven players on the field, it may be harder for other teams to beat Chiefs in their remaining five games. Chiefs last won the league title in 2005 and it is unlikely for them to let it slip away from them after an impressive performance throughout the season. Therefore, Pirates need to work harder to close the 8 point gap with which they trail Chiefs. They need to win their next two matches if they are to successfully defend their championship. The outcome of tonight’s match will determine their fate this season.