Fri, 13 Dec 2019

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs have opened a yawning 10-point lead atop the Absa Premiership standings after match-day 11 of the 2019/20 season.

Amakhosi were 3-2 winners in a gruelling Soweto derby clash against arch-rivals Orlando Pirates at a jam-packed FNB Stadium on Saturday.

That victory was Chiefs' first in four years over their rivals in the Absa Premiership - a relief for the black and yellow side of Soweto.

Ernst Middendorp's charges continue to grind out important victories and the Buccaneers' scalp could not be any sweeter with it being the second win over their neighbours in seven days.

Chiefs had beaten Pirates in the Telkom Knockout in their quarter-final clash the previous weekend to advance to the semi-finals which will be played after the international break.

But the cherry on top?

Current league champions Mamelodi Sundowns suffered a shock 3-2 defeat against Steve Komphela's Golden Arrows on Sunday afternoon.

The Brazilians, placed second in the log standings, are now 10-points behind Amakhosi, albeit with a match in hand.

Sundowns, along with Bidvest Wits, remain Amakhosi's only real threat for league honours.

Wits are currently fifth on the log with four games in hand.

However, even if they were to win all those matches, Wits would remain a point behind Amakhosi.

Sundowns and Wits have been focusing on their respective CAF campaigns with match-day 1 of the group stages set to commence after the international break.

Pitso Mosimane's charges have their eyes on a second star from the CAF Champions League while Wits continue their CAF Confederations Cup quest.

Meanwhile, Amakhosi are now determined to end their major silverware drought with a Telkom Knockout semi-final against Maritzburg United.

With that 10-point lead, Chiefs are now firm favourites to go all the way in lifting the Absa Premiership title despite 19 matches remaining for the season.

But anything can still happen.

When the league resumes, Chiefs have four games before the festive season break - Maritzburg United (Telkom Knockout semi-final, November 23), Stellenbosch FC (November 27), Bloemfontein Celtic (December 7) and cap off 2019 with an encounter against Maritzburg United (December 22).

Middendorp will be hoping to end the year off with a trophy and continue - and stretch - their lead at the top of the standings.

Without a doubt, match-day 11 was certainly the German's best week as Amakhosi coach to date.

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