The ABSA Premiership did not live up to expectations, as a total of only 11 goals were scored across the eight games played. These are the five things we have learnt from week 1 of the ABSA Premiership:
1. Sundowns claim bragging rights to win the Tshwane derby
A much more improved Mamelodi Sundowns team claimed bragging rights in the Tshwane Derby. A comfortable 2-0 win against Supersport United was just the perfect start in their first league game. Coach Pitso Mosimane was a happy man on the day. They looked sharp and strong as they did not allow United to hurt them. Even United captain, Dean Furman, was sent off on the day getting two yellow cards with two careless fouls. It was a much more improved performance by United with new coach Eric Tinkler at the helm but they couldn’t hurt their neighbours. It’s a good start for Downs and things are looking bright for Masandawana whilst for United, they just have to go back to the drawing board and rectify a few mistakes.
2. Cape Town City grind out win in Benni’s first game at the helm
It was not pretty, but a win is a win. These were some of the words mentioned by Coach Benni McCarthy after a laboured 1-0 away win, thanks to a Lehlohonolo Majoro’s header just before half time. The game was not pretty to watch, although Bidvest Wits had by far the better chances to score and win but that never transpired. Coach McCarthy would have appreciated the discipline the boys showed during the game, and obviously the man of the match performance by goalkeeper Shu-Aib Walters, with brilliant saves to keep the team in the game. That showed how imperative the game was for them. For Wits, it is still early in the season, but they will want to improve in taking their chances.
3. Chiefs woes continue after dull draw
It is same old same old. Excuses and more excuses. That’s what the fans think. Kaizer Chiefs are just not looking like the team capable of challenging this season. Even coach Steve Komphela had to blame the pitch for not allowing his side to play the brand of football they know. They’re not taking their chances and they just had to concede a goal – almost reminiscent of what transpired last season where they conceded late goals in the second half. Not much has changed for Chiefs and with this kind of performance, they are way below par of winning anything – including the League trophy.
4. Maritzburg are oozing with confidence
The league should be wary of Maritzburg United. Coach Fadlu Davids is certainly a candidate for coach of the season. They are going to be hard beat and they showed that in the MTN 8 against Sundowns. A 2-0 away victory against Platinum Stars on Sunday afternoon showcased that they shouldn’t be taken lightly. They played to their strengths and coach Davids needs to be congratulated for the job he has done thus far. They are just oozing with confidence at the moment and they could be the dark horse in the season.
5. Pirates win was enough
With so many changes in the team, you can expect that. That’s what transpired as Pirates registered their first win at home. It was not an easy outing as they still showed signs of lacking confidence. With the new coach and assistant coach at the helm, they will be happy with a clean sheet too after last season’s abysmal performance from the team. It’s a good start for the Bucs, but they are slowly getting their rhythm back. It is still early in the season, but they will want to take things one step at a time.