Amakhosi are the only ones not to have won the continent’s elite club competition among the PSL’s big three
Kaizer Chiefs face Al Ahly in neutral Casablanca, Morocco on Saturday as they bid for a first-ever Caf Champions League title.
With Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns having won the Champions League before in 1995 and 2016, respectively, Chiefs are the only South African football heavyweight yet to conquer the continent.
Fans have had their say, with the majority feeling that Chiefs winning the Caf Champions League on Saturday will eclipse Orlando Pirates’ victory in 1995.
In fact, two-thirds of the votes cast are of the opinion a Chiefs win on the night would better their Soweto rivals’ achievement 26 years ago.
Perhaps the fact that Chiefs are playing against record nine-time African champions Al Ahly makes the fans feel that an Amakhosi triumph would be much bigger than Pirates’ exploits.
Al Ahly are unmatched when it comes to their achievements on the continent and they also go into Saturday’s encounter as the defending champions.
When the Pirates Class of 1995 was crowned champions of Africa in 1995, they faced Asec Mimosas who had never won gold on the continent like Chiefs’ opponents.
Yes, the Ivorians then were already perennial participants in this competition and came close with four semi-final appearances, but they had never conquered the continent like the Cairo giants.
This makes Chiefs against Al Ahly look like a David vs Goliath affair and to fans, that could make an Amakhosi victory more significant than what Pirates achieved.
However, just like Chiefs, it was also Pirates’ first time to reach the Champions League final.
Interestingly, Chiefs would be coming up against Pitso Mosimane, a tried and tested coach who led Mamelodi Sundowns to their maiden Champions League crown in 2016 before guiding Al Ahly to continental glory last season.
Successfully plotting against such a tactician would probably mean a lot to Chiefs, whose players endured being labelled as failures after surrendering what looked like a healthy lead to Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League title race.
These are the very same players who will face Al Ahly after Amakhosi who were unable to sign players for two transfer windows and such a squad beating free-spending Al Ahly would be a bigger achievement.
That Orlando Pirates were the first-ever South African club to win the African championship makes their triumph very significant and it is one factor Chiefs have to neutralise on Saturday.