Teams can capitalise

2018-03-07 06:00

Two Free State football giants, Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars, can capitalise playing at home among other aspects in their Nedbank Cup knockout fixtures.

Stars will face off Chippa United in the Bethlehem’s Goble Park Stadium on Saturday (10/03) while Celtic will host Richards Bay at the Dr R.P. Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein on Sunday (11/03).

The fixtures are part of the remaining 16 clubs in this year’s cup championship. The Premier Soccer League (PSL) confirmed the venues on Wednesday, 28 February, following the draw conducted earlier in February.

The draw saw Phunya Sele Sele and Ealla Koto received home draws.

The prized tournament will see new champions crowned in May after two-time champions SuperSport United crushed out. SuperSport were knocked out by Celtic by 5 – 4 in the last-32 leg. The winner was decided via penalties after they had failed to produce a winner after regulation time (90 minutes) and extra time (30 minutes).

Having overcome tough opponents in SuperSport, Celtic’s coach Veselin Jelusic will still want his charges to continue their cup onslaught against Bay, a team in the National First Division League.

The Serbian mentor came close lifting the Telkom Knockout Cup after his side lost by 1 – 0 to Bidvest Wits in the final round in November.

Complacency will be Celtic’s main downfall against underdogs Bay from KwaZulu-Natal.

The visitors reached this stage of the cup after eliminating third-tier ABC Motsepe League campaigners Bloemfontein Young Tigers by 4 – 0 in the last-32 stage.

Ea Lla Koto secured a berth in the last-16 group after narrowly beating Super Eagles by 2 – 1 in the last-32 stage.

  • Stars coach Luc Eymael have a tough task against Chippa who will test the host mettle to some degree. Only two teams of the four will go through to the quarterfinals of the championship which is also the gateway for the overall winner to compete for the continental title. The two fixtures are set to kick-off at 15:30.

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