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Date: 23 April 2019

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Chief, Downs to renew rivalry at Soccer City

[Posted 06 Aug 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Musona and Mungomeni tussle for possession during the Telkom Knockout

Two of South Africa's big four, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs, will renew their rivalry in a semi-final clash at the revamped Soccer City stadium tomorrow Saturday.

South Africa's three biggest clubs, Chiefs, Downs and Orlando Pirates have not won the PSL championship in the past three seasons, in a period when Supersport United has maintained a monopoly of the championship.

Of the traditional top three, it is Amakhosi and Minwana phezulu who appear to have the better chances of unseating Supersport and assume Champions status for the first time in more than three consecutive years. Both teams are expected to use the season opener to demonstrate to their fans that they have what it takes to wrestle the title away from Matsantsantsa apitoli during the 2010/2011 season.

Sundowns come to the Soccer City tomorrow boasting one of the deadliest stikeforces in the country. During the off-season, they took out the cheque book and splashed some rands in Zimbabwe, and secured one of the deadliest strikers on the continent currently.

Zimbabwean Nyasha Mushekwi comes to the PSL with impressive records as Golden Boot winner in the Zimbabwean PSL last season. He was also a leading goal-scorer in the CAF Confederations Cup qualifiers where he featured for this former club CAPS United, before Downs swooped on him. At the same time, Mushekwi had scored in every match Zimbabwe played in the Championship of Nations (CHAN) games, and Mushekwi remains the leading goal-scorer in that competition. CAPS struggled for goals after he left.

Sundowns will unleash the other players captured during the off-season, such as deadly striker Richard Henyekanye, who arrived from Golden Arrows. Other new names include Zimbabwe internationals Method Mwanjali and Lionel Mtizwa who were signed from CAPS together with Mushekwi.

Kaizer Chiefs have been quietly making acquisitions of their own during the off-season. The biggest name signing is former Free State stars striker Sthembiso Ngcobo. The striker who has already been included in the Bafana squad for the Ghana friendly, has already scored in a friendly in Namibia.

Quite interesting features of the Charity Cup include the fielding of two teams by the teams who qualify for the final game. Chiefs are looking forward to fielding two teams should they progress to the final.

“We will use two different teams. Hopefully we are able to beat Sundowns in the first game. We will divide the players up and use a different team in the final,” stated Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic.

The knockout format of the Charity Cup brings with it excitement always. There has to be a winner at the end of the day. A draw results in a penalty shoot-out. Goalkeepers have a chance to become instant heroes with just a single decisive save during the penalty 'lottery'.

One name that has been perched on the memories of the soccer fans in the Telkom Charity, is that of veteran Sundowns goalkeeper, Brain 'Spiderman' Baloyi. The Spiderman has made breadth-taking saves in this competition and is a joint record-winner with soccer legend Marks Maponyane. Both have won the trophy five times.

Baloyi won the Telkom Charity cup three times with Chiefs, and twice with Sundowns. He has the distinction of having represented both teams against each other twice, and leading either team to victory on those occasions.  In 2003, it was Baloyi's heroics between the posts which helped Chiefs to pip Downs in a penalty shoot-out show. In 2004, Baloyi, who had crossed the floor to Chloorkop, made a crucial penalty save in open play during the final between the two sides to bring smiles to the Patrice Motsepe owned club.

When the two teams met at the semi-final stage in 2008, Chiefs got an opportunity to avenge that defeat in 2004, and they duly beat their opponents tomorrow during a penalty shoot-out, after the match had ended as a 1-all draw. Is tomorrow Sundowns' chance to avenge the 2008 loss?

Spiderman is relishing the prospect of making history by becoming the first player to win the Charity Cup six times and overtake Maponyane.

“I am most definitely looking forward to this season’s Charity Cup and hopefully I can break Mark’s record and make history in South Africa by winning it for the sixth time. You can say the competition has gone back home with us returning to Soccer City and I am looking forward to playing in this lovely stadium,”  Baloyi stated his hopes.

The possibility of creating records, the history of the clashes between the two teams and the excitement of showing off new signings, will all combine to make the Chiefs-Downs clash pick of the crop in the semi-finals. There is yet another possibility of a final between Chiefs and Pirates to look forward to, making this year's edition the more interesting.




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