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Football | Nedbank Cup

Itumeleng Khune and Stuart Baxter © Gallo Images

Chiefs look to avoid another cup upset



Bidvest Wits and Kaizer Chiefs have become familiar foes this season as the clubs will lock horns for the third time in the 2012/13 season when they meet in the Nedbank Cup round of 32 at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday night, kick-off 8:15pm.

Chiefs have been in scintillating form in the Absa Premiership this season. The Amakhosi have made it no secret that their No 1 desire this season is to wrestle away the league title from traditional rivals Orlando Pirates.

So it will come as no surprise that in the two Cup competitions that have been played this season that the men from Naturena have fallen at the first hurdle. Their 4-1 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN 8 was followed by a 3-2 loss to Wits in the Telkom KO.

Chiefs’ midfielder Lucky Baloyi, who scored his first goal of the season this past week in the win over Black Leopards, has stressed that his team’s desire is to win the remaining silverware on offer for their faithful supporters.

“Cup matches are different to league matches so we will go out and by all means give it our best shot so that we come away with a win and move into the next phase of the tournament,” said Baloyi.

“We know that we did not do well in the other Cup competitions this season but this a new chapter and also this is a different time of the season. The second half of the season is so intense but we are focused on delivering a win.

“Wits have a new coach since we last faced them and I know their approach will be different to what we had experienced from them in the first round of the season.”

For the Clever Boys this match is an opportunity to salvage some pride and end the season with some silverware. The men from Braamfontein are completely out of the league race and this is the only piece of silverware left in the season to compete for.

They will be amped by the fact they have beaten Chiefs this season before when they met them in the Telkom KO.

Wits, however, lost the league match to Chiefs back in September when they were outclassed 3-1 in Mbombela, the same venue for this weekend’s match.

It is a venue where perhaps they have conceded home ground advantage. The Bidvest Stadium is a compact stadium which they use to their advantage as many teams are not familiar with a small pitch- case in point- when they defeated Chiefs 3-2 in the Telkom Knockout.

Bidvest Wits coach Clive Barker says that even though it has been a while since he was involved in a huge club match, his adrenalin is pumping as he prepares for the Cup match against Chiefs.

“I have been in 12 national cup finals in my career that is quite a few cup finals. Majority of those have been at AmaZulu though,” the experienced former Bafana Bafana coach said.

“This Wits side is coming along quite nicely. There is not much time around because every game now is a fight.

“I love playing Chiefs! My former chairman at another club told me years ago that give us Chiefs and we will take the money and the result.

“For me it is fantastic to be on the bench again. I feel like a young man again it makes my adrenalin pump. I want to win everything that is on offer because I don’t have too many years left in the game.”

Wits last won this cup in 2010 while Chiefs have not won it under the sponsorship of Nedbank. The Glamour Boys last tasted success in this competition in 2006 when they beat Pirates in the final of the then Absa Cup.

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