Chippa United, who took the big scalp of African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout on Sunday afternoon, will again enjoy the advantage of a home clash when they host Kaizer Chiefs in the quarter-finals of the same tournament this coming weekend.
The Chilli Boys beat Sundowns for the first time in a top-flight clash, dominating play at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London, to progress to the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout cup and keep alive their hopes of maybe aiming at silverware.
A former Brazilian in Samuel Julies came off the bench to score with virtually his first touch to sink his ex-employers.
Chippa, under the tutelage of Teboho Moloi, continued their unbeaten run since he took over in September from Dan Malesela.
He’d only been getting draws until his first ever victory came at the same venue a week earlier against struggling side Cape Town City.
For Sundowns, the wheels have come off as they battle to shake off their slump.
“Does this loss mean we are now a bad side? Not at all. We have to remember where we come from. I am the coach and have been here for five years. I know where we’ve gone wrong,” said Sundowns mentor Pitso Mosimane shortly after the narrow defeat.
The Brazilians still showed their quality, but couldn’t get the goals as strikers Thokozani Sekotlong, Khama Billiat and Percy Tau appeared to have left their scoring boots at home.
The loss was Sundowns’ third in a row – having been outclassed 2-1 by Kaizer Chiefs two weeks ago and then AmaZulu by the same scoreline a few days later.
Mosimane, who has won six trophies in his time as Downs coach, has indeed warned the club supporters to “buckle up” as their beloved team is set for a turbulent couple of months due to their poor domestic form.
Sundowns were also recently eliminated from the Caf Champions League and will not be able to defend the trophy they won around this time this year.
In the other quarter-final matches, Orlando Pirates will face Polokwane City for a chance to avenge the league defeat from a few weeks ago at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Chippa hosting Chiefs is arguably the pick of the draw, although the other fixtures could also spring a few surprises.
There will also be a new champions crowned this year after Baroka FC eliminated holders Cape Town City on the same afternoon Sundowns were booted out.
Baroka will travel to Johannesburg to play Bidvest Wits. The two teams also played in a league clash a week ago, which Wits won narrowly by 1-0.
Telkom Knockout Quarter-Final Draw
Orlando Pirates v Polokwane City
Chippa United v Kaizer Chiefs
Platinum Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic
Bidvest Wits v Baroka FC