But Polokwane City ready to claim revenge for Cup loss
Chippa United will be out to double their winnings against Polokwane City when the two sides meet in a Premier Soccer League fixture at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tonight (7.30pm).
The Port Elizabeth soccer team’s charges hope to repeat their 2-0 Nedbank Cup victory over “Rise and Shine” at the weekend, in which Chippa progressed to the next round of the knockout tournament.
But most importantly, the Chilli Boys will be looking to finally break their six-match winless run in the Premier League.
Despite good results in the Nedbank Cup, Chippa have not won a PSL game since a 2-1 win over Baroka in February. Soon after their Nedbank Cup victory against Polokwane, Chippa United coach Dan Malesela said his main focus was on tonight’s Premier League game.
Malesela said he had hoped that his players would not be caught by the bug of just winning cup games and not league matches, as both were important. “I do not want that to happen,” he said. “I want us to deal with all games, whether they are cup games or not.
“I am not one who says, ‘I will choose this game over that one.’ I don’t do that.” The former Orlando Pirates skipper said the season had not been easy because of the injuries to the team. “We’ve never had a solid team in three matches.
So it all depends on how we handle ourselves in getting the results. “If the results are coming it’s good, but it also needs an element of luck to say we shouldn’t have injuries or suspensions.” The Chilli Boys are 10th on the PSL log, with 23 points from 22 games.
The visiting Polokwane City are plotting revenge against Chippa. In spite of their seventh place standing on the PSL log, Polokwane have been struggling to win matches and have been without a triumph in nine league games. The last time they tasted victory was when they beat Chippa 1-0 in December.
Speaking after their Nedbank Cup game, coach Bernard Molekwa said he would sit down with his technical team and analyse the game to see where his Polokwane City team went wrong.
“If changes are needed, we will do them. If not, then we will still play the same team,” Molekwa said.
However, he said his side needed to improve on their finishing if they wanted to win against Chippa tonight.
“We had chances that we could have buried, but unfortunately we did not because of composure and proper thinking in the third half.
“So that is something that we still need to work on.”
ý Meanwhile, makeshift centreback Motjeka Madisha will play again for Mamelodi Sundowns on Thursday when the champions return to league action in a derby encounter against SuperSport United in Pretoria.
Madisha made a strong impression in Saturday’s Nedbank Cup second round loss to Golden Arrows at Atteridgeville in Pretoria.
“Madisha was my man of the match. Brilliant‚” Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane said happily, even though his Brazilians did not win.
“He was also the man of the match when we played in the first round of the Nedbank Cup, when we beat Mariveni.
“He is raising his hand to say, ‘I’m no longer young‚ maybe I should be in the starting lineup,’” Mosimane said after being forced to include the 22-year-old in his defence on Saturday.
Madisha was, however, duped by Nduduzo Sibiya of Arrows for the cup game’s only goal after being handed a clever dummy.
But for the rest of the game, he did not put a foot wrong as he featured in the Brazilians’ defence for the first time.
Usually a central midfielder‚ Madisha was making just his third start for Sundowns.
He put up a strong performance, with key tackles that denied Arrows other good opportunities. Sundowns have been hit by an injury crisis among their centrebacks – with only Thabo Nthethe fit.
Wayne Arendse had knee surgery last month‚ Ricardo Nascimento is struggling with a long-term groin injury and Bangaly Soumahoro has an injured ankle.
The trio sat out on Saturday against Golden Arrows as Nthethe and Madisha combined for the first time to the satisfaction of Mosimane.
Continuing on Madisha’s performance, he said: “He’s the captain of our MDC team and a brilliant player. “I’m really happy for him.” Motjeka‚ who has played for Bafana Bafana in the Cosafa Castle Cup‚ was on loan to Highlands Park last season in the National First Division
He only made his Mamelodi Sundowns debut in the goalless draw against Maritzburg United in August, when he featured in midfield.
Thursday’s match against SuperSport United is the first of two Premier League matches between the two clubs inside a week – with both the teams still harbouring PSl championship title hopes.
Kaizer Chiefs will face Supersport United in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup after the draw pitted the two sides against each other on Monday night. – TMG Digital