Chiefs, United shoot­ing for sil­ver­ware

Ned­bank Cup could be only tro­phy on of­fer for both sides de­spite im­pres­sive PSL run

The New Age (Gauteng) - - SPORT - Nevillek@the­newage. co.za

THEIR re­spec­tive des­tinies in the PSL ti­tle race may not be in their hands any more, but Kaizer Chiefs and Su­per­Sport United are fully aware that the Ned­bank Cup could be a defin­ing mo­ment in their sea­son.

The two teams meet in the quar­ter­fi­nals to­mor­row at FNB Sta­dium with both in­tent on win­ning some sil­ver­ware this sea­son.

Both teams are still in the race for the league ti­tle, but will need other teams to drop points for them to have a real chance.

The Ned­bank Cup is a com­pe­ti­tion both have a chance of win­ning, but first they need to ne­go­ti­ate their way to the fi­nal.

Chiefs, who have the up­per hand over Su­per­Sport in cup com­pe­ti­tions, are on a good run hav­ing gone 11 matches un­beaten in all com­pe­ti­tions, while Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori have not won in their last four matches.

But Chiefs coach Steve Kom­phela feels form will count for noth­ing to­mor­row.

“You’ve got to be very care­ful with a team that is not get­ting re­sults and our team know what is ex­pected of them,” Kom­phela said. “Su­per­Sport are not any dif­fer­ent. With re­gards to Stu­art Bax­ter, he is very ex­pe­ri­enced.

“Even the two matches he played against Sun­downs were not the same. That is the sign of a coach who thinks and learns from pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ences.

“If he thinks about the pre­vi­ous match he lost against Sun­downs and how they played the way they did on Wed­nes­day, then there is a pos­si­bil­ity he might have a dif­fer­ent way of plan­ning the match he is go­ing to play on Satur­day.

“He is go­ing to come with a dif­fer­ent way of think­ing.”

Kom­phela will hope that striker Gus­tavo Paez con­tin­ues his good run of form to help them ad­vance to the next round.

For his part, Bax­ter said Su­per­Sport will come up with a game plan to make life dif­fi­cult for Chiefs.

“I think what’s been a very tough sched­ule for ev­ery­body in the PSL puts down a few con­di­tions in terms of squad ro­ta­tion‚ load­ing of the play­ers‚ who’s fit and how you’re go­ing to play,” Bax­ter said.

“It puts down con­di­tions in terms of how you’re go­ing to pick your XI. “We will try to find a game plan that we think will un­set­tle Chiefs. Un­doubt­edly it’s go­ing to be a tough game.

“It’s two teams who know each other well and we both have am­bi­tions to go far in this tour­na­ment.”

United will be with­out Kingston Nkhatha who twisted his an­kle in their 1-0 de­feat to Mamelodi Sun­downs on Wed­nes­day but wel­come Thabo Mnya­mane back from sus­pen­sion. Ned­bank Cup fact file: Chiefs and Su­per­Sport have met three times in the Ned­bank Cup with Amakhosi win­ning all three, in­clud­ing the 2013 fi­nal. The other times they met was in the last 32 and quar­ter­fi­nals. Su­per­Sport United coach Stu­art Bax­ter has won the Ned­bank Cup twice, first with Chiefs and then with Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori last year. The last time these two teams met was in Novem­ber last year in a league match which fin­ished 1­1 at FNB Sta­dium. It was a match that wit­nessed Chiefs fans throw­ing ob­jects at coach Steve Kom­phela fol­low­ing a string of poor re­sults. Su­per­Sport go into this fix­ture boast­ing eight for­mer Chiefs play­ers and ex-coach Bax­ter. The last time Su­per­Sport de­feated Chiefs in a cup com­pe­ti­tion match was in 2004 when they de­feated them in the SAA Su­per 8 fi­nal.

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