Absa Premiership

Komphela to face old charges

2015-08-05 08:00
Siphiwe Tshabalala (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Defending MTN8 champions Kaizer Chiefs will face Maritzburg United in the quarter-finals of the 2015 competition.

Chiefs defeated Orlando Pirates 1-0 in the final of the MTN8 last season to claim a record-extending 15th Top Eight Cup title. They also beat Black Aces (4-0) and Platinum Stars (5-0 on aggregate) in the quarter-final and semi-finals respectively.

Amakhosi then went on to enjoy a stellar season in the league, winning the Absa Premiership with a record 69 points to complete a double haul of trophies in 2014/15.

However, they enter the new campaign without several figures who have been key to their success in recent seasons, including coach Stuart Baxter and reigning Player of the Season Tefu Mashamaite.

Steve Komphela - the man who guided Maritzburg United into the top eight last season – has been handed the reins at Chiefs, who have also brought in several new players such as Siyanda Xulu, Camaldine Abraw and Bongani Ndulula.

As for Maritzburg, they will be playing in the MTN8 for the first time after finishing a club-record eighth in the Absa Premiership last term.

However, it is a cruel twist of fate that they will now face a Chiefs team led by Komphela, the very man who guided them into the top half of the table in the first place.

Nonetheless, with a new man in Mandla Ncikasi in charge at the Team of Choice, and a squad boosted by the signing of former Orlando Pirates midfielder Manti Moholo, they will be optimistic of a good season ahead – and be keen to hand their former mentor a defeat in his first official game in charge of the Soweto giants.

In head-to-head stats, Chiefs and Maritzburg have met in just two previous cup matches.

The first was in the first round of the 2005/06 Coca-Cola Cup and the Soweto side claimed a 2-1 home win. The second was in the first round of last season’s Telkom Knockout and again the Amakhosi came out on top, claiming a 1-0 win thanks to Bernard Parker’s early strike.

In all the teams have met in 20 matches across all competitions and Chiefs boast nine wins compared to five for United, while six matches have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent meeting was a league match in Pietermaritzburg in March which the Team of Choice won 1-0 – one of just three defeats Chiefs suffered in the Absa Premiership last season.

The match will be played at the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday, August 5.

Kick-off is at 19:30.


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