Bumper season for football fans

2010-08-24 00:00

NEVER in the Premier Soccer League history has the country’s biggest soccer clash been overexposed.

Having already met in the Telkom Charity Cup two weeks ago and still having to honour their Absa Premiership fixtures, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are now guaranteed to meet four times this season.

This is thanks to the MTN8 Wafa Wafa Cup semi-finals draw, conducted yesterday in Gauteng.

The semis of this competition, carrying R8 million for the winners, will be played over two legs on the weekend of September 11-12.

The second leg clashes are pencilled in for September 25-26 and venues are yet to be confirmed. The final is on October 4.

Moroka Swallows were drawn against Ajax Cape Town, last season’s runners-up.

The Orlando Stadium and Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium have been bandied about as venues for the Soweto derby.

For soccer enthusiasts, the draw pitting the two giants of local football against one another is a bonus and means a bumper season for them.

Just two weeks ago at the one-day Charity Cup event in Gauteng, the fans were given a sneak preview of what their favourite teams have to offer in the season that kicks off this weekend.

Chiefs triumphed 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 deadlock in regulation time.

The Amakhosi and Buccaneers’ meeting might not end in the Wafa Wafa tourney. There is still the Nedbank Cup and Telkom Knockout Cup to be contested this season.

The Buccaneers advanced to the semis after posting a hard-fought 2-1 win over Santos at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.

Despite edging Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in the other quarter-final at Rand Stadium on Saturday, Chiefs were unconvincing.

However, the way in which Chiefs and Pirates negotiated their way to the semis may not matter come match day.

The form book is thrown out of the window when these clubs clash.

Meanwhile, with another Soweto-based club, Swallows being in the semis, Soweto has been placed well to have representation in the finals.

Chiefs and Pirates have their roots firmly planted in the largest township in the country.

Ajax will undoubtedly be out to erase that embarrassing 6-0 thumping inflicted on them by Lamontville Golden Arrows in last season’s finals.

Ajax beat Mamelodi Sundowns 4-3 on penalties on Friday night in Cape Town. Swallows, led by rejuvenated veteran striker Siyabonga “Bhele” Nomvete, also qualified for the semis via penalty shootout, beating SuperSport United by the same score in Gauteng on Saturday.

But before the Wafa Wafa assignment, all four semi-final qualifiers have other important matters to think of: the opening Premiership fixtures this weekend.

Pirates visit rookies Vasco da Gama, while Ajax host Bloemfontein Celtic in the Mother City double header in Cape Town on Friday night.

Chiefs welcome Arrows at Rand Stadium and Swallows are away to Sundowns at Lucas “Masterpieces” Moripe Stadium on Saturday night.

MTN8 SEMI-FINALS DRAW

Moroka Swallows vs Ajax Cape Town

Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates

The semi-finals will be played over two legs — weekend of September 11 and 12 and weekend of September 25 and 26.

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