Nedbank Cup semifinalists motivated by chance to make history

First trip to a cup final beckons for either Chippa or Pretoria Callies

Neville Khoza Journalist
Sabelo Shabane of Uthongathi challenged by Xolane Sithole of Pretoria Callies during the GladAfrica Championship 2020/21 match between Pretoria Callies and Uthongathi at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.
Sabelo Shabane of Uthongathi challenged by Xolane Sithole of Pretoria Callies during the GladAfrica Championship 2020/21 match between Pretoria Callies and Uthongathi at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

History beckons for Pretoria Callies and Chippa United, as they are just a match away from reaching their first cup final.

However, it's only of the two who will proceed to the Nedbank Cup final as they meet in a semifinal at Lucas Moripe Stadium tomorrow (3pm).

Callies, the legendary football club which disappeared from the scene decades ago, are making a steady return to big time football and are currently in  the GladAfrica Championship, SA's second-tier league.

Reaching Nedbank Cup semifinals is a historical moment for the Atteridgeville-based club in their first in  GladAfrica. They are currently 11th on the log with 27 points after 22 games, and 11 points behind pacesetters Richards Bay.  

Should they advance to the cup final, Callies stand a good to emulate TS Galaxy who won this competition in 2019 when they were still in the second-tier.

Their opponents Chippa are having it tough in the DStv Premiership, with just three wins after 22 matches and lying second from the bottom with 17 points.

Despite their fight in the relegation zone, coach Siyabulela Gwambi insists their focus on the Nedbank Cup is as serious as seeking reprieve from the axe in the Premiership.

“The balance is always there; giving our best in the Nedbank Cup won’t overrule our keenness to survive relegation,” Gwambi said.

“There is danger in us for saying let’s save players for the league at the expense of the Nedbank Cup. That’s a problem. The approach should be let the players who are going to play the Nedbank Cup play their best football as that will also prepare them for the Baroka game on Tuesday and other matches beyond.

“So we talk about match fitness. We got a nice balance and players who are capable whenever they are called. We might be in a bad position but we are about to turn things around starting from Saturday going forward.”

Callies coach Joel Masutha believes they have enough quality to surprise many by going all the way to the final and probably win it.

“If I can get a team that would support me, give me proper support, there is no reason I can’t succeed,” Masutha said.

“With the support I’m getting here at Callies, I believe if it continues [that way] there is no way that this team can fail.”

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