Rating Chiefs, Sundowns and Pirates’ opening week performances

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) finally returned to action after a near five-month long break due to the coronavirus pandemic with 54 outstanding fixtures to be played.

After lengthy negotiations between the PSL, SAFA and government, permission was finally given to resume action in a bio-secure environment in August. Gauteng was selected ahead of the North West and KwaZulu-Natal as the chosen province to host the bio-bubble and football’s new normal got underway on 08 August 2020.

South Africa got their first taste of football’s new normal during a full week of action in which ‘the big three’ all featured at least twice, but how have they all fared under the unprecedented conditions?

Rating the PSL’s big three after week one

While it’s no secret that Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates are home to majority of the country’s football fans. Their huge following comes with added pressure, all three teams are still well within the PSL title race but who has shown their title credentials after week one? I’ve rated their early performances out of 10.

Kaizer Chiefs (7/10)

Kaizer Chiefs showed signs of promise during their PSL midweek 1-1 draw against Bidvest Wits however they ultimately lacked the competitive edge that saw them top the league table for majority of the season.

The Amakhosi once again missed their spark during the opening 70 minutes of their second clash this week however a remarkable come-back against Polokwane City completely changed the outcome of their opening week in the bubble. Four points out of a possible six for the Amakhosi, most importantly for Kaizer Chiefs was the nature of their victory against Rise and Shine, it definitely give them a huge boost heading into week two.

Mamelodi Sundowns (6/10)

Mamelodi Sundowns enjoyed a decent start to life in the bubble after seeing off Bidvest Wits to book their place in the Nedbank Cup final. Pitso Mosimane’s men are known to be slow starters however this was only evident in their second match, a completely flat performance against Orlando Pirates during a goalless draw.

Mosimane would not have been too worried about his side’s performance against the Buccaneers however, Masandawana followed it up with another lackluster performance against Highlands Park in the PSL on Friday night. Mosimane will be hoping for his team to find some sort of momentum as soon as possible after Kaizer Chiefs opened up a six point atop the log standings. Mamelodi Sundowns have picked up two League points out of a possible six while earning a Nedbank Cup final spot.

Orlando Pirates (5/10)

Orlando Pirates began their life in the PSL’s bio-bubble with a goalless draw against Mamelodi Sundowns. They showed a lot of promise on the night but were unable to make it count.

Jozef Zinnbauer’s men took to the field against Bidvest Wits on Saturday evening but another goalless draw meant they’re yet to find the back of the net in over 180 minutes of football this week.

The Buccaneers have also been derailed by off-field issues with star attacker Thembinkosi Lorch and Zambian striker Justin Shonga being axed from the bio-bubble. They’ll be hoping to turn the tide as soon as possible in order to play continental football next season. The Buccaneers have picked up two points out of a possible six.

‘Big three’ PSL fixtures during week two

  • 17 August – Cape Town City vs Mamelodi Sundowns (18:00)
  • 18 August – Orlando Pirates vs Baroka FC (18:00)
  • 19 August – Bloemfontein Celtic vs Kaizer Chiefs (18:00)
  • 21 August – Maritzburg United vs Mamelodi Sundowns (18:00)
  • 23 August – Cape Town City vs Orlando Pirates (15:30)
  • 23 August – Kaizer Chiefs vs Stellenbosch (18:00)

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