Loss may be a ruse by tricky Chiefs

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Kaizer Chiefs will looking to bounce back from the disappointment of Wednesday night when they take on a fiery Bloemfontein Celtic in a Telkom Knockout semifinal game at Mmabatho Stadium in North West tomorrow.

Amakhosi lost 2-1 to Moroka Swallows in a midweek league game , but that defeat could be a ruse to outfox their opponents on the day.

Both Chiefs and Celtic are playing entertaining football, and both clubs command a large following.

The trip to Mafikeng will be like a special outing for most football lovers and a full house sign could go up long before the kickoff.

Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral has instilled confidence and discipline in the side - they attack more and take their chances.

The same can be said of Celtic's coach Khabo Zondo, who is fast turning Phunya Selesele into a winning combination.

Though Zondo's side has struggled a bit since they edged AmaZulu 1-0 in the quarterfinals, with a home defeat to Sundowns and 1-all draw with Arrows, the Bloemfontein side has been as entertaining as ever.

Amakhosi beat SuperSport in the last round and returned to league action with a comfortable 3-0 win over fellow semifinalists Free State Stars.

Celtic are quietly optimistic about their chances, and team manager Khumbulani Konco says they are focusing fully on their own preparation.

"It's a big one, the guys are pumped up already. Playing Chiefs is a motivation in itself. On top of that, it's a knockout and just 90 minutes away from the final.

"We are not concerned about them, we will look at ourselves," said Konco.

Chiefs' Ertugral said: "We have been playing with a lot of confidence throughout the cup. Given the way we had to fight against SuperSport, we have to fancy ourselves to get to the final.

"We have come this far and bowing out at the semifinals is not an option."

Celtic players Moses Spandeel, Kleinbooi Taaibos, John Maduka and Lebohang Kukame are ready and looking forward not only to the game, but to the R4,25 million first prize.

Chiefs will turn to the likes of Mabhuti Khenyeza, Shaun Bartlett, Tinashe Nengomasha and Arthur Zwane to see them through to the final.