Mfundo Vilakazi: Rising Star Earns Praise From Kaizer Chiefs’ Coach Cavin Johnson Despite Cup Exit

Mfundo Vilakazi: Rising Star Earns Praise From Kaizer Chiefs’ Coach Cavin Johnson Despite Cup Exit

Robert Abong'o
February 26, 2024 at 8:21 AM
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  • Mfundo Vilakazi made his senior debut in the Nedbank Cup against Milford
  • The Kaizer Chiefs teenager received praise from his coach Cavin Johnson
  • AmaKhosi suffered a disappointing 5-4 defeat on post-match penalties

Kaizer Chiefs' interim coach, Cavin Johnson, has lauded the promise shown by Mfundo Vilakazi following the teenager's debut in professional football on Sunday, February 25.

Vilakazi, just 18 years old, entered the field to cheers from fans at the FNB Stadium in the 63rd minute, replacing Mduduzi Shabalala.

However, despite his promising performance, Chiefs suffered a disappointing 5-4 defeat on penalties to second-tier Milford FC in the Nedbank Cup Last 32.

Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Mfundo Vilakazi. Photo: iDiski Times.
Kaizer Chiefs Mfundo Vilakazi made his debut in the Nedbank Cup. Photo: iDiski Times.
Source: Twitter

Vilakazi, promoted to the first team in January, displayed glimpses of his talent throughout the match. He came close to securing a dramatic victory for AmaKhosi in extra time with a powerful long-range effort that forced a corner.

Johnson, although disappointed with the result, found solace in Vilakazi's performance. Reflecting on the player's debut, the manager pointed out the teenager's potential, suggesting that a stronger position on the field could have allowed him to excel even more.

“For a young player who came on, and I put him on a really pressure game, I think he did well. I don’t think he lost the ball. He’s got a bright future with Kaizer Chiefs," Johnson said, as quoted on iDiski Times.

Despite the loss, he praised the midfielder's composure, highlighting his ability to maintain possession and optimism about his future.

Vilakazi's journey to the first team began with impressive performances in the DStv Diski Challenge and the Carling Black Label All-Stars match against Stellenbosch FC last month. While he remained on the bench during his first inclusion in the matchday squad against Royal AM, his debut showcased his progress and potential.

Johnson also lamented the team's elimination from the Nedbank Cup, expressing disappointment at the team's inability to convert scoring opportunities.

Despite dominating the match, they failed to capitalize, ultimately succumbing to Milford FC in a penalty shootout. Milford's goalkeeper, Siphamandla Hleza, emerged as a hero, saving a penalty in extra time and converting the winning penalty, as reported by News24.

Kaizer Chiefs interested in Two Bafana stars

Sports Brief reported that Kaizer Chiefs wanted to sign two Bafana Bafana stars to improve their squad.

Amakhosi did not sign anyone during the January transfer window but made nine signings in the summer.

The club is reportedly looking to sign Sphephelo ‘Yaya’ Sithole, who was ever-present in South Africa's lineup at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
South Africa