The Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs only reliable source of goals right now seems to be from Khama Billiat corners
The first match is on Sunday afternoon, away from home for Amakhosi at the Stade Omnisport de Limbe in Limbe, Cameroon.
The second leg will be on Friday 4 December at FNB Stadium in Soweto.
Who would want to be Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt right now? The four-time league winning coach’s dream of working for South Africa’s most popular team is quickly turning into a nightmare and he’s won just two of eight games, with his problems further compounded by the club’s transfer ban.Goal 50 Revealed: The best 50 players in the world
It’s also difficult to tell if Hunt will be approaching the Champions League as a welcome distraction, or as another potential stumbling block, and a long journey to West Africa.
The change of scenery and competition might just be what Chiefs need right now. But then again, an exit at the preliminary stage would also be an embarrassment for the club.
One could also suggest that Hunt might try and mix things up, throw in a few youngsters and give some fringe players a run. But he’s already sort of done that in the South African league and cup, having chopped and changed his team a lot, for a variety of reasons – injuries, suspensions, and poor form.
And to put it bluntly, he has problems all over the park to fix. There have been numerous defensive blunders this season, the latest coming midweek when both the Chiefs full-backs were exposed and Swallows FC were able to score an 86th-minute winner in Dobsonville.
At the opposite end of the pitch there is also a rather alarming statistic in that the Glamour Boys have in eight matches – more than 720 minutes of football – scored just once from open play.
That was when Lebogang Manyama combined with Khama Billiat to tee up Leonardo Castro in Amakhosi’s 2-2 draw with Golden Arrows last weekend.
Apart from that, they’ve only scored three other goals, and all were dead-ball situations or more specifically Billiat corners; from which Castro scored a header against Arrows and defender Yagan Sasman netted twice in the MTN8 quarter-finals against Maritzburg United.
Chiefs’ failure to score from open play must be worrying and suggests a lack of fluency, that the players are not on the same wavelength as each other, and that confidence and form is down.
It’s something they’ll be working hard to put right, although right now, Hunt would probably take a 0-0 draw on Sunday and try and finish off the job at home next week against the unknown entity that is PWD Bamenda.
Perhaps with a few scrappy, ground out wins, the confidence will begin to build and the goals will finally start to flow from the likes of Billiat and Manyama.