Ernst Midderndorp claimed a double over his title rival Pitso Mosimane as Kaizer Chiefs edged over Mamelodi Sundowns at a sold-out Loftus in Pretoria on Sunday.
Chiefs Serbian striker Samir Nurkovic grabbed the all important brace with a goal in either half settling the affair that often has had Midderndorp and Mosimane engaged in fierce exchange of words.
Midderndorp definitely now has the swagger and bragging rights as the victory extended and cemented Chiefs lead at the top five points.
This is Chiefs second victory over Mamelodi Sundowns this season after the Shell Helix Ultra Cup victory a fortnight ago with former Sundowns players Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat running riot in that game.
The league victory was an important morale-booster for Chiefs into the hugely anticipated Soweto Derby Telkom Knockout quarterfinal showdown against Orlando Pirates in Durban next weekend.
The game did not really live up to its high-profile pre-match billing, it did sparkle in patches but it was double scorer Nurkovic who really relished the moment in his contribution to the title cause of the Amakhosi faithfuls as they notched their seventh victory in nine outings since the championship campaign kicked off two months ago.
“Today was my day and I am grateful,” said the east European striker.
Chiefs’ German coach Ernst Middendorp urged caution and maximum concentration as the club continues the hunt for a trophy since winning the 2014/2015 Premiership.
“We are getting used to winning league matches this season. But we have 21 more fixtures to play so it is crucial that all of us – players, coaches, technical staff, management and supporters – keep our feet firmly on the ground.” said Midderndorp after the all important victory over Masandawana.
By Gerald Dandah