Gustavo Paez arrived in South Africa as a free agent. Very little was known about this Venezuelan striker who has Italian citizenship until he started scoring goals whilst on trial at SA's biggest team, Kaizer Chiefs.
Kaizer Chiefs fans are beginning to enjoy the benefits of a team that is being built from the bottom up. The Chiefs development is producing players such as Itumeleng Khune, Lucky Baloyi, Bruce Bvuma, Wiseman Meyiwa and Nkosingiphile Ngcobo. These players are complemented by good foreigners such as Willard Katsande, Camaldine Abraw and Gustavo Paez.
The game against Acornbush United proved that the gap between the league divisions in SA is slim. Chiefs had to dig deep to defeat a talented and determined 10-man Acornbush team that was playing the game of their lives.
It was funny seeing Acornbush fans celebrating Kaizer Chiefs goals but, had it not being the introduction of Paez and Hendrick Ekstein, Chiefs were heading out of the cup and the fans would have witnessed another huge upset.
Ekstein's introduction was key because the one-twos and short passing game he likes to play was the key needed to break the stubborn United defence. Paez's runs and positioning has become a breath of fresh air in SA football. He showed Mzansi that he has the finishing touch and the killer instinct that we sometimes miss in the country. He showed that he can score, but also create space and goals for midfielders. ‘Yeye’ Letsholonyane and Paez would have been a nightmare if the former had not left for SuperSport United.
Chiefs, will not cry over spilt- milk and will continue to grow in confidence as they continue their unbeaten run and, if it continues, they could be champions of both the league and Nedbank Cup. They will be careful about getting ahead of themselves but, with their forwards beginning to score, Amakhosi are in for an exciting end to the season.
*This article was written by a Soccer Laduma reader and reflects their opinion, not that of Soccer Laduma.