Tin­kler is Chiefs’ hoodoo

Su­per­Sport coach has never lost a match to Amakhosi in open play

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MI­NENHLE MKHIZE

THE BAD news for Kaizer Chiefs as they strive to take their good pre-sea­son form into the 2017/18 PSL sea­son is that the team pro­vid­ing the first hur­dle in their MTN8 chal­lenge is coached by a man with the knack for beat­ing them.

Amakhosi have al­ready won two friendly tro­phies – the Bokone Bophir­ima Cup and the Car­ling Black La­bel Cham­pion Cup – to raise their fans’ hopes that they will avoid go­ing three suc­ces­sive sea­sons with­out of­fi­cial sil­ver­ware.

And next week­end they be­gin the sea­son proper with an MTN8 clash against Su­per­Sport United at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium.

But if the Chiefs faith­ful are an­tic­i­pat­ing a win sim­i­lar to the past week­end’s Soweto derby suc­cess, they’d bet­ter be warned.

In Eric Tin­kler, Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori have a coach who has the knack of beat­ing Chiefs. The for­mer Bafana Bafana mid­field hard­man, who joined the Tsh­wane oufit after a suc­cess­ful spell at Cape Town City, has never lost to Steve Kom­phela’s side in open play.

His only de­feat came in penalty shoot-outs of a 2015 Telkom Knock­out semi­fi­nal clash that had ended goal­less after ex­tra time. He was Orlando Pi­rates coach then.

Other than that, it has been Tin­kler all the way, with two knock­out vic­to­ries for the man who served a long coach­ing ap­pren­tice­ship as as­sis­tant to Roger de Sa.

Tin­kler gained sweet re­venge for that de­feat when he sent Amakhosi pack­ing out of the 2016 Ned­bank Cup at the first hur­dle, cour­tesy of a 2-0 win that was made pos­si­ble by a Tendai Ndoro brace.

Last year, when he was at City, Tin­kler again in­flicted de­feat on Kom­phela’s men at the first hur­dle of the MTN8, the ‘new’ club pre­vail­ing 1-0 via Matthew Sim’s sev­enth minute strike.

It hasn’t just been in the cup com­pe­ti­tions where Tin­kler topped Kom­phela, for he is yet to lose to him in the league.

Pi­rates v Chiefs der­bies ended 1-1 and 3-1 and last sea­son there was an­other 1-1 stale­mate be­fore City broke Amakhosi hearts with a goal at the death as they tri­umphed 3-2.

It all points to a Su­per­Sport suc­cess in Dur­ban next Satur­day, right?

Not nec­es­sar­ily, says Tin­kler.

“I don’t choose games,” he said “I treat ev­ery game equally. It will be tough against Chiefs. I saw them against Pi­rates in the Car­ling Cup.”

Granted sta­tis­tics are noth­ing more than num­bers, but the Su­per­Sport play­ers are sure to walk onto the pitch with a bit of spring in their step, thanks to the knowl­edge that their coach has a good record against the op­po­si­tion.

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