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Mathoho recall imminent after Kaizer Chiefs' AmaZulu horror show?

10:28 AM WAT 14/01/2023
Erick Mathoho, Kaizer Chiefs, October 2022
Prior to beating Kaizer Chiefs 4-0 at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Friday night, Usuthu had won only one of their last 11 games in the league

Kaizer Chiefs head coach Arthur Zwane must surely be strongly considering bringing Erick Mathoho, the veteran central defender, back into the team.

For two of AmaZulu's four goals, the Chiefs defence was found wanting badly on set-plays as Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Dumisani Zuma both headed home from George Maluleka corner kicks; rubbing salt in the wounds is that all three of those players once played for Amakhosi.

There was a distinct lack of aerial presence in the Chiefs box when Zuma and Mphahlele scored - something which was rare when Mathoho was in his prime and a permanent fixture in the heart of the Amakhosi defence.

You could certainly see those opening two goals from AmaZulu not happening if 'Tower' had been in the area. Instead, he remained on the bench - where he has often been this season, when he makes the squad at all.

In the meanwhile coach Arthur Zwane has preferred the likes of Zitha Kwinika, Edmilson Dove and Njabulo Ngcobo - all who started well, only to fade as cracks in their games were exposed.

At the moment Kwinika and Dove (a left-back moved into centre defence by Zwane), seem to be suffering a lack of confidence and are regressing rather than progressing.

Dove's weak back-pass for the third goal didn't help goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune while Kwinika let Bongi Ntuli sprint past him for the final goal.

It may well be time for Zwane to bring back Mathoho.

Yes, the ex-Bafana Bafana centre-back has also been error-prone over the past year or two, but he remains a proven performer over many seasons and surely deserves another chance in light of the failings of the current defenders.

At least Mathoho would give Chiefs better cover against set plays, an area opposition coaches may be looking to increasingly exploit.

Still only 32 - he's been with Amakhosi for 11 seasons now, Mathoho played in the Carling Black Label Cup - a team selected by the fans, earlier this season. He is yet to play in the league and did not feature in the MTN8 either.