White elephant comes back to life for derby

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Professional football returns to Peter Mokaba Stadium when City Pillars host Winnerspark in what promises to a be an awe-inspiring Limpopo Mvela Golden League derby on Sunday (3.45pm).

Peter Mokaba Stadium has been a white elephant since Silver Stars relocated to Royal Bafokeng Stadium in the North West this time last year, citing poor crowds at the Polokwane venue.

Pillars, alias Mathaithai, were forced to host Sunday's clash in Polokwane because of renovations at NkowaNkowa Stadium, their home base.

Pillars and Winnerspark played to a 1-all draw in the league's first round in Seshego and Mathaithai have vowed to win this time round.

"We need nothing but the three points on Sunday and the players know the importance of winning this match," Peter Koutroulis, Pillars' chief executive, said yesterday.

"A win will go a long way in fortifying our chances of qualifying for the [Platinum] playoffs."

Pillars go into this crucial clash buoyed by a 2-1 win over the star- studded but average FC AK on the road last Saturday.

Winnerspark, on the other hand, drew 2-2 at home against PJ Stars in their last encounter.

Trevor Lekalakala, Winnerspark park's spokesman, is upbeat about their chances against Jacob "Cellular" Sakala's side.

"We know their strengths and weaknesses and will easily capitalise on their flaws," said Lekalakala yesterday.

Pillars have quality players such as James Mothibi, Elvis Mashao and Tshepo Moletsane who could prove a handful for Winnerspark, who are mentored by the underrated Innocent Mayoyo.

Dolf "Mshini" Kheswa and Morgan "General" Shivambo are household names at Winnerspark and Pillars should tread cautiously against them.



Chatsworth: Durban Stars v FC AK (7pm).


Wynberg: Western Province United v Fidentia Rangers (3pm); Wolfsons: Bay United v Nathi Lions (3pm); Olympia: GaRankuwa United v Cosmos (3pm); Blue Downs: Vasco da Gama v FS Stars (3pm).


Meadowlands: PJ Stars v University of Pretoria (3pm); Peter Mokaba: Pillars v Winnerspark (3.45pm); Ackerville: Witbank Spurs v Dynamos (3pm).