Kaizer Chiefs favourites to outshine Galaxy minnows
Amakhosi have often battled against lower-tier teams in cup ties
Kaizer Chiefs will be odds-on favourites to lift the Nedbank Cup when they take on National First Division side TS Galaxy in the final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday‚ but they have found out all too often in the past that minnow teams have their number.
Whether it is the fact that rival players lift themselves for the occasion‚ or a genuine inability of Chiefs to brush aside so-called lesser opposition‚ no other Premier League club has suffered as much at the hands of lower league teams.
Chiefs have already been taken to extra-time twice this season by third-tier sides in Tornado FC and The Magic before coming through those ties‚ but on four previous occasions they have not been so fortunate.
Granted, their recent record has improved‚ but there will be plenty of optimism in the Galaxy camp‚ led by wily coach Dan Malesela‚ that a shock result is on the cards‚ not least because Chiefs have managed no wins‚ and only two goals‚ in their last four games and finished the league season in ninth place.
Their record against lower league teams is in contrast to the likes of SuperSport United‚ who have never been ousted from the cup by a team from outside the Premier League.
Chiefs’ most recent exit from the Nedbank Cup against lower league opposition was four years ago when Black Leopards knocked them out in the last 16.
Morgan Shivambu put Lidoda Duvha ahead‚ but Chiefs levelled the game through Willard Katsande. However‚ red-hot Roggert Nyundu found a winner in injury-time to seal the victory against Stuart Baxter’s side.
Chiefs lost in the quarterfinals of the 2011 competition to third-tier Baroka FC in what remains one of the great shocks in South African football history — surpassed perhaps only by Orlando Pirates’ 4-1 loss to Maluti FET College two years later.
Baroka had already stunned Moroka Swallows but it all appeared to be going to plan for Amakhosi‚ as Zimbabwean Knowledge Musona put Chiefs ahead in the 36th minute. Baroka were back on level terms just a minute before the break‚ veteran Sam Ndlovu heading home from a corner to stun the visitors.
Chiefs had numerous opportunities in the second half to secure the win‚ but after a litany of misses‚ were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of goal. Baroka striker Thobani Mncwango bundled the ball home in injury-time after a melee in the box to complete what remains the greatest victory in the club’s history.
Just a year earlier‚ Chiefs had been bundled out of the Nedbank Cup by second-tier FC Cape Town‚ for who a teenage Lyle Lakay was the star. The current Mamelodi Sundowns star was on loan in Cape Town from SuperSport United and scored the opener to stun Chiefs in an excellent all-round display. Samuel Eboulle Bille added a second.
The FC Cape Town side that day was coached by current Polokwane City tactician Josef Vukusic during a brief first spell in South African football.
Chiefs’ run of bad luck in the Nedbank Cup had started the year before though as they crashed 4-3 to surprise finalists University of Pretoria from the NFD‚ who were coached by current Stellenbosch FC boss Steve Barker.
Mthokozisi Yende‚ who would later join Amakhosi‚ gave Tuks the lead midway through the first half‚ but five minutes later the top-flight side were level through Josta Dladla‚ whose cross was bundled into his own net by the Tuks goalkeeper.
Chiefs went ahead as Jose Torrealba bizarrely fisted the ball into the net as he lay on the ground having been brought down by the keeper. Tuks were level again when Phenyo Mongalo played on while everyone around him stopped‚ appealing for offside‚ and beat Itumeleng Khune in Chiefs’ goals.
The First Division side took the lead as Thabo Moleko lobbed Khune for a brilliant goal‚ but Siphiwe Tshabalala brought Chiefs level at 3-3 as he converted a spot-kick after Kaizer Motaung Jnr was fouled.
With the First Division side down to 10 men it was assumed Chiefs would stroll home in the closing stages‚ but instead it was Tuks who scored‚ Mongalo‚ now with Orlando Pirates‚ scored his second four minutes from time.