Chilli Boys caretaker coach unfazed by Cup opponents
Chippa United have drawn African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the first round of the Telkom Knockout Cup and the biggest question is whether the game will be played in Port Elizabeth or East London.
The mouth-watering tie is set for the weekend of October 27, 28 and 29 although exact days and venues have yet to be determined.
Chippa chief executive Peter Koutroulis said yesterday the club’s management would decide on a venue. “We know Sundowns is a big club, but for us this is a normal game. I don’t think Sundowns will come here and think they will get an easy win over Chippa.
“I am happy that the game is a home draw. We will have a meeting next week and decide whether we will play in PE or East London,” Koutroulis said.
As agreed with Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Chippa will take five of their 15 home matches to Buffalo City this season, with the first game taking place when Chippa host Cape Town City there on Sunday.
Earlier this year, the Port Elizabeth-based side took their Nedbank Cup semifinal match against SuperSport United to the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, where they were beaten 4-2 on penalties.
Caretaker coach Teboho Moloi said he was not too bothered where their knockout match against Sundowns took place.
“For me it doesn’t matter if we play at Sisa Dukashe or at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, both fields are our slaughterhouse.”
“I actually love East London, I have played there and here in PE. I love being anywhere in the Eastern Cape. As long as my players go out there and enjoy the game.
“Everywhere we play so far here in the EC, what I have realised is that we have a big following. In the past we have seen how the people support Chippa in East London.
“For me anywhere we play the players must go out there, perform and enjoy the game.”
Coming straight from training yesterday to the news that they had been drawn against Sundowns, Moloi said he had obviously not given the matter much thought.
“A cup game is a cup game. It doesn’t matter who you are drawn against because at the end of the day whoever you are trying to avoid, you will meet them one way or another,” he said.
Last season, Chippa were knocked out in the first round of the competition, going down 2-0 to Highlands Park.
Meanwhile, Cape Town City will start the defence of their title with a tricky trip to Polokwane to face hugely improved Baroka.
Last season’s losing finalists SuperSport United will start their mission of lifting the trophy by travelling to Bloemfontein Celtic on the weekend of October 27‚ 28 and 29.
This emerged during the last 16 draw of this season’s tournament held in Johannesburg yesterday, where Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates were kept apart.
Chiefs were drawn at home to AmaZulu‚ while Pirates hit the road to Durban for a clash against Golden Arrows.
The full draw is:
Baroka v CT City;
Chippa United v Sundowns;
Bloem City v SuperSport;
Polokwane v Ajax;
Kaizer Chiefs v AmaZulu;
Wits v Free State Stars;
Mariitzburg v Platinum Stars;
Golden Arrows v Pirates.
– Additional reporting by Mahlatse Mphahlele