Chiefs eye rare double

2013-05-25 00:00

TODAY’S Nedbank Cup final at Moses Mabhida Stadium presents Kaizer Chiefs with the opportunity to win a much-coveted league/cup double. But to do that, they will need to break down a SuperSport United side that under coach Gavin Hunt is as disciplined as they come.

There are many critics who anticipate the clash, which is sold out to more than 51 000 people, to go to extra time and possibly even penalties. But with Chiefs’s ability to attack in numbers and score goals from anywhere on the field, the Soweto giants are backing themselves to put the game to bed in the 90 minutes.

It has already been a stellar season for Chiefs, who won their first league title in eight years as they continue their efforts to “reclaim the glory” of seasons past.

Chiefs’ assistant coach, Doctor Khumalo, believes the difference between this squad and those that have failed to deliver for Chiefs in recent seasons lies in coach Stuart Baxter.

“When Stuart arrived here he came up with a simple philosophy that suited the boys. He didn’t change much,” said the former Bafana Bafana superstar.

“Our players are all on the same page, and they have all been outstanding this season.”

No side has ever won back-to-back Nedbank Cup titles, and SuperSport have the chance to become the first as they defend the trophy that they won last year.

“According to my knowledge, no team has even reached the final two years in a row,” said SuperSport assistant Kaitano Tembo. “We are not worried about a record like that. We’ve gotten to the final and we want to defend our title, and that’s all we’ll be trying to do.”

Though the match this afternoon is technically being played at a neutral venue, the vast majority of the supporters will be clad in the gold and black of Chiefs. And with a game of this magnitude in South Africa comes the dreaded “boo boys” — that group of fans who turn on their own players when things aren’t going well. Khumalo has called for calm heads to prevail.

“Booing is definitely a problem in South African football, but the players need to understand that these games mean a lot to our supporters,” he said. “We can’t have a situation where the players are responding to the crowds. Every one of us knows how important this trophy is to our supporters and we will do everything we can to win.”

The match kicks off at 3 pm and will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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