Chiefs can stay on track in Cup

Mon 25 Mar by Mark Gleeson


Failure to deliver a single trophy cost Steve Komphela any chance of an extension to his three-year contract at Kaizer Chiefs and a semi-final defeat in last year’s Nedbank Cup hastened his departure.His tenure at the club had been a rare departure by owner Kaizer Motaung from a preference for foreign coaches in a golden opportunity to showcase local talent.But for all the positive aspects of his appointment, results are what matters and Chiefs have gone back to putting foreigners in charge - first Giovanni Solinas and now Ernst Middendorp.The taciturn German got off to a bright start, but constant tinkering with the team suggests he has found no solution to the slow demise of Chiefs as a major force in the local game.But he does have a chance to buy himself time by becoming the first coach since Stuart Baxter some four seasons ago to deliver silverware to the club.Chiefs might be effectively way off the pace in the league title race, but a quarter-final berth in this year’s Nedbank Cup gives them a very real opportunity to end their trophy drought - particularly given how the opposition in the competition has been decimated.Chiefs play in the last of the quarter-finals on Sunday, hosting Cape Town City at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.They also played their last match there - a league clash with SuperSport United on 15 March which ended in a draw.Chiefs and City have already met in the league this season with Chiefs handing Benni McCarthy’s side a comprehensive 4-1 thrashing in September in Cape Town, only for the tables to be turned at Soccer City in January when City won 1-0, albeit outplayed over the 90 minutes.Chiefs will be the more fancied of the two sides on Sunday, but City can pick apart any opponent when in the mood.
Saturday sees Bloemfontein Celtic host Lamontville Golden Arrows, which is Komphela’s new side. He was at Celtic for six months previously and this is the second time since he left them that he returns to the Free State capital, following a 1-1 league draw in January.On Saturday night, Bidvest Wits look to end their slump at home to Chippa United. Wits got back to winning ways on 15 March when they came from behind to win 4-2 at Celtic in the league.
All the matches are included in TAB pools like Soccer 6 and Soccer 10 and it’s going to be an exciting weekend for soccer punters.

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