ONE GIANT MUST fall! Soweto derbies are unpredictable but a clash between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the Last 32 of the Nedbank Cup will see millions of fans countrywide biting their nails.
If the match ends in stalemate after extra time a penalty shootout will decide which side advances.
There is a lot of mystery surrounding this clash, which could see lower-than-expected numbers of fans attend – or see coaches approach the clash with different formations.
For Bucs this is their last chance to salvage any glory from a season that saw them excel at the Caf Confederation Cup, only to fall at the final hurdle. Amakhosi, however, are still in the race to defend their Absa Premiership title, in addition to being involved in the Caf Champions League.
They are determined to add more misery to Bucs’ season by eliminating their rivals at the first hurdle.
Bucs head coach Eric Tinkler summed it up when he said: “The harsh reality is that one of us must go out. I would have preferred to play Chiefs in the semifinals or final.”
He has added incentive: “Winning the Nedbank Cup not only gives us silverware but also automatic entry into the Confed Cup in 2017. We’re keen to go on that African adventure again.”
It will be the fifth time these rivals have met this season, including the season’s pipe-opener, the Carling Black Label Cup.
Said Chiefs mentor Steve Komphela: “Every derby is different. The environment changes. But this is a BIG one, being the first round of the cup, and we have to embrace the occasion.”
Amakhosi star defender Tsepo Masilela said: “At Chiefs you want to win all the cups and the league. This is our opportunity to win a trophy.”
Bucs keeper Brighton Mhlongo is up for the challenge: “We simply have to focus on our game.”