Big game for Chippa

Chippa United head coach Dan Malesela
File picture: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

While Chilli Boys aim to bounce back, lowly Acornbush vow to take game to Chiefs

Chippa United will be looking to continue their good run in the Nedbank Cup competition this season when they host Polokwane City at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium today.

But most importantly the Port Elizabeth side will be looking to bounce back from their 4-1 Premier Soccer League defeat against Cape Town City early in the week.

The Chilli Boys progressed to the last-16 stage of the tournament for the very first time after five attempts when they beat National First Division Witbank Spurs 1-0 in their previous fixture.

Chippa will be without Mpho Mvelase, Xolani Mdaki, Diamond Thopola and Lerato Manzini, who was given a red card during their loss to City on Monday night.

Manzini will also be out for Tuesday night’s league match, which is also against Polokwane City.

With some of their key players out due to injury and suspension, coach Dan Malesela called on players who have been on the sideline to man up.

Right back Kristopher Bergman is one of the players who is hopeful to start in today’s clash against the Rise and Shine.

Bergman, who returns from injury, said he was in great spirits ahead of the game.

“It’s good to be back at the training field. I am just looking forward to bouncing back from our last league results,” he said.

“Hopefully we can do that today. Every player works hard at the start of the week trying to fight to get a position in the starting line-up.

“I’ve been working hard and hopefully I’ll get a start. But the most important thing is for the team to do well and progress to the next stage of the Nedbank Cup.”

Meanwhile, the coach of underdogs Acornbush has promised to suffocate Kaizer Chiefs at the tiny Kabokweni Stadium

Acornbush United’s colourful coach Macdonald Makhubedu promised his side will give Kaizer Chiefs no room to move in the compact atmosphere of their home ground.

ABC Motsepe League team Acornbush‚ who beat high-riding PSL side Cape Town City in the previous round‚ meet Amakhosi in their 10 000-seater stadium, 30km outside Nelspruit, in the Nedbank Cup last-16 on Saturday.

Makhubedu‚ after saying that with Acornbush’s emphasis on earning promotion to the National First Division he would field fringe players‚ promised Chiefs a fiery outing at Kabokweni.

Chiefs had put pressure on the PSL to have the match moved to Nelspruit’s bigger Mbombela Stadium‚ but Acornbush resisted this.

Asked what kind of a game Amakhosi can expect‚ Makhubedu proclaimed simply: “Inland.”

“It’s going to be a good game – two inland teams. I’m not saying they don’t play good football that side [at the coast],” he said.

“But it’s going to be a good game. Not an open game. If we wanted to play an open game we could have taken Chiefs where they wanted to go [Mbombela].

“It’s going to be a closed game in a small stadium. Very tactical.

“Chiefs are going to come at us, but they are going to be surprised.

“I’m not saying we’re going to beat them‚ but they will be shocked. It’s going to be a close game, because football is about being at the right place at the right time for the players.

“It’s our home ground [Kabokweni]‚ just like Bidvest [Stadium is for Wits].

Acornbush are currently top of their regional Motsepe League log in Mpumalanga.

– Additional reporting Marc Strydom

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