Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Can Majoro fire Kaizer Chiefs out of the doldrums?

We already knew Lehlohonolo Majoro had balls. It was written all over his t-shirt when Kaizer Chiefs downed Moroka Swallows 3-0 back in February.
After his record-breaking four-goal Nedbank Cup blitz against the rarely-spotted Leopards in Polowane , he earned the match ball – and on Saturday against Platinum Stars he was at it again, scoring the first in a 2-1 win which puts the Amakhosi right back in the title hunt.
For South Africa’s estimated 15 million Amakhosi fans, a goalden Majoro could be the difference between another season of frustration and an autumn of wild celebration – his record 16-minute first-half hat-trick ensured a place in the Nedbank quarter-finals and a few more to finish the season will leave Vladmir Vermezovic’s men handily placed to snatch the double if leaders Orlando Pirates stumble – and I suspect they might.
Though we must keep an eye on Sundowns – who play Leopards tomorrow night at the Peter Mokabe Stadium – and Moroka Swallows are certainly my pick as dark horses – Chiefs remain a potent threat with their huge following and depth of squad.
Majoro, affectionately known as Laser, didn’t quite match the world’s fastest-ever hat-trick in that Nedbank Cup clash – that was set in Scotland in 1964 when Thomas Ross scored three in 91 seconds for Ross County against Nairn County – but the statisticians are struggling to find anything quicker than 16 minutes in the record books, if you discount the 24-0 Sundowns hammering of the shocking Powerlines in the last round.
With the impressive Steve Khomphela’s Free State Stars to come in the quarter-finals (the draw also gave us Amazulu v Santos, Supersport United v Jomo Cosmos and Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United), Majoro knows there’s plenty of hard work to come.
But what a change from a month ago. On March 9, after unveiling his “I do have balz” undershirt after scoring against Swallows, the former Amazulu striker told Supersport after being fined for getting things off his chest: "I just wanted to answer my detractors. I had to make a point. The message on my vest was light-hearted, I wanted to make my point politely, but in a meaningful manner.”
Today, the ridiculous R30,000 penalty handed out by the “offended” PSL for his vested interest appears historical, hysterical. The goal against Swallows was followed by his first Nedbank Cup strike against Cape Town All Stars, a supersub effort against Orlando Pirates, another in the 2-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic. Then came all four in the 4-0 cup triumph and Saturday’s strike at the afokeng Sports Palace. He now has nine in his last nine games, with 14 so far this season.
Majora was glowing when he told us: “There was so much expectation when I came here and yes, I did struggle. They were saying I was a one-season wonder at Amazulu (where he scored 14 times in 27 games last season) and that I was a mistake.
“But I pushed myself. The results are showing now. But credit to Siphiwe Tshabalala too. He knows the runs I make, his passes always put me in a good goal-scoring position. We win as a unit, that’s what swings games in our favour.”
Born in Ladybrand on August 19, 1986, Majoro started kicking ball for Manyatseng United Brothers before playing for Free State University and then Bloemfontein’s Young Tigers. Then he was off north to the University of Johannesburg and Highlands Park before Amazulu spotted his spiky-haired, fleet-footed talent and nose for goals.
The rest is history. Capped once by Bafana Bafana – against Tanzania in May last year – Majoro deserves to be seen as a potent answer to the nation’s goalscoring problems before AFCON 2013. Are you listening Pitso?
Neal Collins (@nealcol on twitter) is a South African sportswriter who dodged national service for 25 years by working among the madmen on Fleet Street. The World Cup brought him home.
This story first appeared in The New Age, the latest in my Neal & Pray series which appears every Tuesday in South Africa’s newest daily newspaper. www.thenewage.co.za.

1 comment:

  1. To bad those passes that Tshaba gave him is all gone again, since Tsaba is back to his selfish ways again by thinking his the only player that knows how to score, Tsaba is a good player, but his mostly selfish, hardly pass the ball near the box area, always takes those over ambitious strikes at all goal, there hv to come a time when we should say, the over ambitious strikes from range, is getting a bit to much, to many great plays get broken down those ways, its why our PSL teams is at the state it is, and it spills over into our national team, nobody care to tell these guys its getting to much and over board, Sundowns was at the top of the league how many rounds, with a mere 4/5 points between teams 1 to 5, managed bout 9points in 7 league games, still holding on to that top spot, and SA footy anylists kept telling us how the PSL is among the top 5 leagues in the world, I may come across as being cynical, but I just want our NT to be really competetive, they are so concerned bout the South African flair, which consist of showboating and slowing the game down, even on the counter attack, that they hardly noticed how that has let us slipped down the world rankings, and that teams don't shudder at the prospect of playing against us, Nationally, neither a team like Cosmos against the so-called glamour sides