Sundowns don’t scare Chilli Boys

Chippa United unfazed by top side’s thrashing of Buccaneers

We are not Orlando Pirates – we are Chippa United. That was the message from the Chilli Boys’ assistant coach, Mbuyiselo Sambu, when asked if the 6-0 thrashing of Orlando Pirates by Mamelodi Sundowns would play on their minds at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane, East London, tonight.

Chippa lock horns with the Brazilians in a potential humdinger as both sides like to play attractive football.

Coach Pitso Mosimane’s men will be oozing with confidence following the 6-0 drubbing of Pirates on Saturday.

But Sambu said Sundowns’ thrashing of Bucs had not resulted in players fearing the Chloorkop side.

“We will focus on our task and what we want to achieve as a team,” he said.

“We always give every team we play against the necessary respect.

“You can’t play football when you have fear or doubts crowding your mind. That’s the first defeat on its own.

“Fear is not an option. Confidence is very important for us. We are not Pirates – we are Chippa United. We don’t even play the same brand of football.”

Coach Dan Malesela’s charges also go into the game high in confidence after beating Baroka FC 2-1 in their first game of the year at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

East London has been a happy hunting ground for the Port Elizabeth-based team. Chippa started its Mdantsane venture with a convincing 2-0 victory against struggling Highlands Park in December.

“We have won a game there already,” Malesela said. “East London has always been our lucky place and we hope that luck continues. This is a home game, and East London is our next home.

“So, we must try every time to not allow people to go away with points when they play against us at home. We need to continue with that.”

The coach urged Chippa fans and soccer lovers in East London to come out in their numbers to support the team.

“This is a once-off chance to see these teams. So, let them come to see the players live and also bring the atmosphere that we always get in East London,” he said.

Home advantage alone will not be enough for the Chilli Boys to get the better of the Caf team of the year.

“We’ll try our utmost to use the home advantage, but that doesn’t guarantee us the results,” Sambu said.

“If you rely on home advantage and not put in the effort, there’s no way you will get good results. We still have to work very hard and be smart.

“We can’t take anything for granted because Sundowns are a very good and experienced team.”

Chippa will be eager for the three points that would take them into the top eight. The team are ninth with 19 points from 15 games.

After playing 11 games, Downs are fifth with 25 points.

The team have been clinical in the league so far, winning eight times, sharing the spoils once and losing twice.

Sundowns spokesman Thulani Thuswa said they would show the Chilli Boys the respect they deserve.

“The coach has said that one of the teams that always give us a run for our money is Chippa, because they keep the ball just like us,” he said.

“We have nothing but respect for the Chilli Boys, but Sundowns have a mission and that is to defend our title and be at the top of the log as soon as possible so that we’ll be able to concentrate on the Caf Champions League.”