Cape Town - Bloemfontein Celtic and Kaizer Chiefs will renew their cup rivalry when the teams meet in the first-leg of their 2015 MTN8 Cup semi-final.
Celtic earned their spot in the semis thanks to an upset victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinals. The Bloemfontein side held the Brazilians to a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes before edging the Tshwane giants 4-2 on penalties.
As for Chiefs, they had an equally dramatic path to the last four. The Soweto giants found themselves 2-0 down against MTN8 rookies Maritzburg United, but fought back to win 5-3 after extra time, with George Lebese proving the main source of inspiration thanks to his two goals.
Celtic are looking to reach the MTN8 final for the first time since they won the competition back in 2005 [when it was known as the SAA Supa8], while defending champions Chiefs know all about progressing past this stage of the competition, having appeared in 20 finals in the Top Eight down the years [and winning it a record 15 times].
In head-to-head terms, Phunya Sele Sele and Amakhosi have met in 11 previous cup matches since the inception of the NSL back in 1985. The Soweto side has dominated the rivalry, claiming eight wins and suffering just one defeat.
However, that lone Celtic win was in the Top Eight quarterfinals in 2005 – the Bloemfontein club won 2-1 in Soweto thanks to goals from Siyabonga Nkosi and Collins Chabalala and went on to claim the trophy for the first and only time in their history.
The three cup matches between the teams since that famous Celtic victory have all ended 1-0 in favour of the Amakhosi, suggesting a tight encounter could be on the cards at the Free State Stadium this weekend.
In all, the teams have met in 66 league and cup matches since 1985. Chiefs have 39 wins compared to 11 for Celtic, while 16 matches have been drawn.
The Soweto side has not tasted defeat against the team in green and white since the first half of the 2009/10 season – a total of 13 league and cup matches have been played between the teams since then, with Chiefs claiming victory in seven of them.
The match is set to take place at the Free State Stadium on Sunday, August 16.
Kick-off is at 15:00.