Shining Stars now eye final against Downs
FREE State Stars boss Mike Mokoena is hoping for a dream Nedbank Cup final with Mamelodi Sundowns to give the fans a mouth-watering clash.
"I'm crossing my fingers that we do not meet Sundowns in the semifinals so that there will be a great match to end the season," Mokoena said yesterday.
His club qualified for the semis after dumping Kaizer Chiefs out of Ke Yona, beating them 1-0 at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday night.
"Coach Steve Komphela, the technical staff and the boys have done a great job. I have never been so happy in my life in a long time," Mokoena said.
"We planned for this game. Chiefs were predictable. We knew they would field senior players, some of whom were not playing recently. You could see some of them were tired after 30 minutes.
"When Dove Wome scored that goal, I knew they wouldn't come back. It has been just over 20 years since Stars won a major title in an official competition. We have worked very hard to be where we are and there is light at the end of the tunnel. The title drought is finally coming to an end."
Mokoena praised his players for their hard work.
"For us, we showed sheer commitment, passion and concentration. You could see a team that was more eager to win and I'm sure we deserved it. We are happy. It was a major win for us."
Khomphela offered a message of support to Chiefs' interim technical staff.
"I'm sure Doctor (Khumalo) and Ace (Khuse) will get this team right. They have only had two days (to prepare the team).
"No coach can ever get a team right in two days," said Komphela, whose club host Black Leopards in QwaQwa on Wednesday.
Khuse said they would now focus more on their league campaign and believed the championship was still within reach.
"We are now going for the league title. We lost to a better team, we tried our best but it was not our night," said Khuse, who was appointed caretaker coach after SerbianVladimir Vermezovic was given the boot last week.
Khuse is assisted by Khumalo and Arthur Zwane.
Meanwhile, Vermezovic has assured SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt that he is not after his job.
"VV phoned me to assure me that he is not interested in my job," said Hunt.