Kaizer Chiefs – Match Report vs Marumo Gallants (08/04/2023)

The Kaizer Chiefs disappointingly drew against the Marumo Gallants at home. The hosts went 1-0 up through Ashley du Preez, but then stopped playing and let the Gallants back into the game. After the equalizer, the Kaizer Chiefs were the dominant side, but Marumo Gallants also had some huge chances to score. It was a small miracle that the game ended 1-1.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Samkelo Zwane

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: South-African
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 04/01/2002
  • Club: Kaizer Chiefs
  • Career: Kaizer Chiefs
  • Position: Central Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Samkelo Zwane played as the left-defensive midfielder in Kaizer Chiefs’ 4-2-3-1 and played a really solid match. At the age of 21 Zwane already dominates in his physical ground duels. He is quite tall compared to the other players on the pitch and I would estimate him somewhere between 180-183cm. He looks quite lean, but already has quite an athletic build (just look at his legs in the picture) and was easily able to bully his opponents off the ball multiple times. My main point of concern with Zwane was his work rate throughout the match. I really couldn’t see how fast he was, since he was mostly jogging around the pitch. He put quite some intensity in his duels, but I missed this will to win in transitions or when he didn’t have the ball. Now I have to note that this was a thing I missed in a lot of the players. The gaps between the lines were often very big and the Kaizer Chiefs gave a lot of space to the Gallants.

Where Zwane was very impressive physically, his qualities on the ball stood out even more. Technically Zwane made things look very easy. He has a great first touch and very good ball control, mainly with his right foot although his left foot is decent as well. Because the youngster scans very well before receiving the ball, he has great spatial awareness. He didn’t really try to beat opponents in 1v1s, but if he saw they were aggressively pressing him, he was able to easily turn away from them. Zwane has a fantastic long pass and played a couple of fantastic switches to the wings. He also likes to play short combinations with fast one-touch passes, especially when he pops up in the final third. However, also with the ball Zwane looked a bit too nonchalant at times, which resulted in him having some weaker phases against the Gallants where his concentration seemed to drop significantly.

Rating – A2

Physically and technically Samkelo Zwane should definitely be capable to play on a higher level than the PSL. I only have some question marks about some mental aspects, but I feel like this is also something in this Kaizer Chiefs team, since this wasn’t the first time I’ve seen them give away points like this. A move to Belgium or maybe Denmark would be a very nice step for Zwane.

Mduduzi Shabalala

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: South-African
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 20/01/2004
  • Club: Kaizer Chiefs
  • Career: Kaizer Chiefs
  • Position: Attacking Midfielder
  • Secondary Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Mduduzi Shabalala is probably the talent in South Africa with the most hype around him, probably even more than Cassius Mailula. The 19-year-old recently played with the national U23 side in a lost AFCON qualifier against Congo Brazzaville and has recently been starting a lot of matches for the Kaizer Chiefs.

Against the Marumo Gallants ‘Mdu or die’, which is probably my favourite nickname in football, started as the attacking midfielder, but he didn’t have his best game. Shabalala is a diminutive attacking midfielder and I think he is around 170cm and because of he is quite small he can struggle quite a bit in physical duels. If he does get a little bit of space though, he can easily beat an opponent with a quick burst of pace and his explosiveness on the first meters. A good example of this came in the 30th minute when he received the ball on the left side of the pitch, waited for his opponent to catch up and easily drew a foul by dropping his right shoulder and passing him around the left.

Shabalala is very much a player who likes to roam around the pitch when his side has possession. You will often see him in the left or right halfspace to receive the ball and then try to find a forward pass. The youngster is technically very strong, mainly with his right foot, and does very well when he can make quick one-touch combinations with his teammates. He was quite sloppy in the final third this match though. There was one 3v3 situation where he put in a poor cross and not much later he had a huge chance to score, but took a touch instead of shooting with his left foot and he didn’t have time to do so. I feel like he really needs to scan more when receiving the ball, since it let him down a few times. After around 72 minutes Shabalala was taken off.

Rating – A2

Mdududzi Shabalala is a great footballer, but I don’t think he is quite ready for a move abroad yet. Last year Shabalala already had a trial with the Belgian side KVC Westerlo, which would be a great team for him, but for now it’s a little too early yet. I’m also a little concerned that his physical abilities could limit him, especially if he plays as a 10.

Dillan Solomons

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: South-African
  • Age: 24
  • Date of birth: 23/12/1998
  • Club: Kaizer Chiefs
  • Career: Milano United, Royal Eagles, Stellenbosch FC, All Stars FC, Swallows FC
  • Position: Right Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

The 24-year-old Dillan Solomons played as the right back for the Kaizer Chiefs and had a solid match. I said earlier that I felt like some players needed to work harder and cover some more ground, but this is absolutely not the case for Dillan Solomons. The 24-year-old is 180cm according to Transfermarkt, but I would say he is around 175cm max, and is probably the fastest player I’ve ever seen play. Apparently, Solomons used to be an aspiring track runner, and a good one, but eventually chose football. Solomons has electrifying top speed and reaches it in about the blink of an eye. He was easily able to take a heavy touch and just run around his opponents as he was that much faster. Solomons has quite a lean build but with his aggression and intensity still did very well in ground duels. Also, his pace allowed him to move far up the pitch since he could easily track back and recover in case the Gallants took over possession.

And moving up the pitch he does. Solomons received the majority of his passes on the half of the Marumo Gallants. Technically he looked fine with a good first touch and decent dribbling, although he was sometimes too fast for his own good. He looked composed with the ball at his feet and would often cut inside to create more options for himself. If Solomons would go around the outside he would most often put in very early crosses, which didn’t really lead to anything. The quality of the crosses looked quite good, but his teammates didn’t really seem ready to react yet and I feel like he usually could’ve waited a little longer to get closer to the touchline before crossing.

Rating – B1

Dillan Solomons is a really fun player to watch with his bizarre pace. I’ve given him a B1 for now, but I would like to see more from him to be able to properly judge his defensive qualities and his qualities in the final third.



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