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Football | Nedbank Cup

Free State Stars © Backpagepix

Ea Lla Koto has more to lose



It will be a case of ‘David versus Goliath’ when Premier Soccer League side Free State Stars tackle National First Division outfit Witbank Spurs on Sunday afternoon at the Charles Mopeli Stadium in the Nedbank Cup round of 32, kick-off at 3pm.

Steve Komphela’s Stars side have become one of the most consistent and rising sides in South African football. With the limited resources that they have compared to most big teams in the PSL, Ea Lla Koto have done well. They have discovered raw talent from lower tier leagues and made them into household names in a matter of a season or two.

But now the Free State side, who are used to being underdogs in the elite league, meet a side who is a division below them.

Spurs have had a reasonable season in the second tier of South African football.

The Mpumalanga side are currently in seventh spot on the NFD log with eighteen points from their 11 matches, just four points away from a play-off spot.

Spurs Managing Director Themba Mafu says that his side have not had enough focus on this since they have been engaged in league matches

“We are going all out to win this match. We will be honest and admit that a draw will not be kind to us because we are facing one of the emerging sides in the country,” said Mafu.

“Free State Stars have done well this season because they are pushing for the league if we properly study the standings.

“But this is the sort of match that will motivate those boys to go out there and win because we also need the prize money that goes with the tournament because we are a team in the lower league and it will go a long way to stabilising the club.”

Ea Lla Koto might rest some of their star players for this match. With matches being played every four days since the league resumed earlier this month, teams have been complaining about the congested fixture schedule.

But Komphela might be motivated by the fact that his side were eliminated in the semifinals of this competition last season and would want to go all the way this season and secure Stars’ first trophy since 1996.

Noah Chivuta says that the Ea Lla Koto are remaining humble as they approach every match on its merit and that it is likely that his side will play their strongest team as they want to win this Cup to end their trophy drought.

“We will approach this match just like any other match in the PSL that we encounter. We know that they are a team that plays a division beyond us but we won’t be taking them for granted,” the former Zambian international said.

“We are aware that they don’t have anything to lose in this match. If they beat us it will be big but if we beat them then it will just be a routine result. We are remaining humble and won’t let our recent results in the league blind us.”

Chivuta also voiced out his concern relating to the closed book scenario that the Spurs are to them.

“We also don’t have too much information on them but at the end of the day we have to play and beat them. We don’t any excuses,” concluded the former Bidvest Wits player.

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