Bucs, Chiefs set the tone

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

The battle for supremacy between the two giants of South African soccer continues in the semifinal of the most popular one-day soccer showpiece - the Telkom Charity Cup - on Saturday.

Coaches Bibey Mutombo and Muhsin Ertugral usher their soldiers to war when blood rivals Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs engage in a battle for a place in the final of this prestigious event in Mmabatho.

The tournament, which features four teams, will undoubtedly unify thousands of soccer lovers throughout the country when it is staged in North West province for the first time.

Amakhosi communications director Thebe "Selepe" Mohatle said after they drew Pirates it was his wish to meet their arch- rivals once more.

"They beat us not long ago in the Vodacom Challenge and we're going out for revenge. We've identified our mistakes and now we'll be going for the kill," said Mohatle.

Amabhakabhaka spokesman Mickey "Majaevane" Modisane said they had not played in this tournament for two consecutive seasons and now that they had qualified, they were going to give their loyal supporters a big thank you by winning the final.

"We last won this competition in the 2002 soccer season, since then it has been eluding us. But our game against Chiefs is going to be a final before the final," he said.

In the first semifinal Platinum Stars will meet Bloemfontein Celtic.

This will be the first time that the North West side will be taking part in the competition.

The side is getting more support from Premier Edna Molewa and will most likely advance to the final.

Susan Phala, Stars' public relations officer, said they were happy to meet Celtic and were ready to march to the final.

"As the hosts of this spectacular tournament we can't be knocked out in the semifinals. Everybody in the team is prepared for the fight ahead. So Celtic should tread with caution on sacred ground," she said.

Sello Nduna, Celtic's publicist, said they were going to North West to collect the trophy that has been eluding them.

"We'll be there with our myriad of supporters, and if some of the teams do not arrive on time we're determined to fill up that 55000-seater stadium. We've already hired 48 buses and it is likely that the number could rise to 100 on Friday," he said.

The first semifinal kicks off at 10am and the second at noon. The final is at 5pm.