Soccer

Chiefs, Pirates set for epic

2011-07-20 18:33
Vladimir Vermezovic (Gallo Images)

Port Elizabeth - The Vodacom Challenge heads into the business end of the competition when South African giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates clash in an eliminator in Port Elizabeth on Thursday evening.

Besides the obvious benefits associated with pre-season matches, the previous two games in the tournament have meant very little in the greater scheme of things.

Chiefs, however, may disagree.

The Amakhosi will hope their 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the opening match will afford them a decided mental edge over their Soweto rivals, who drew 1-1 with the English Premier League outfit on Tuesday.

The incentive for victory in Thursday night's thriller is a berth in Saturday's final against Spurs in Johannesburg.

New Pirates coach Julio Leal believes his players are up for the challenge.

"I always tell my players: 'The next game is the most important game of our lives'," Leal said.

"We can't think about that (Saturday's game). We must take it step by step.

"So tomorrow is important because it is a stepping stone to the final."

Leal said Chiefs were playing better and better under coach Vladimir Vermezovic.

"We're expecting a competitive, beautiful and entertaining match," he said.

"We played them four times last season and beat them three times, but every season is different."

Vermezovic also expects a no-holds-barred encounter against the Premiership champions.

"I expect one big game tomorrow because there are no preparation games between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs," Vermezovic said on Wednesday.

"I think Pirates will approach tomorrow's game with big confidence after their performance last season.

"But we want to build on our winning mentality and stay on a high level.

"I watched the Pirates-Spurs game with my technical team. I think that Pirates were the better team and deserved to win the game.

"It's perhaps not fair that both of us have to fight for a place in the final."

There is not much that stirs the loins of South African soccer fans more than a clash between these arch-rivals and this week's match will be no different.

As of Wednesday morning, 25 000 tickets had been sold, just short of the 29 000 who watched the team play at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in 2009.

Chiefs won on that occasion and also went on to beat Manchester City in the final.

Thursday's fixture will be the first soccer match played at the 45 000-seater stadium in Port Elizabeth since the FIFA World Cup third-placed play-off between Uruguay and Germany in July last year.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Mashaba no 'cheap' option

2014-07-28 15:09

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    04:00
  • SS4
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    05:00
  • SS7
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
  • SS5
    Mon, 28 Jul 2014 @
    06:00
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

Was Lionel Messi a deserving recipient of the Golden Ball (Player of the Tournament)?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.