Kaizer Chiefs desperate to avoid another derby disgrace against Moroka Swallows

Daniel Akpeyi of Moroka Swallows kicks a ball upfield during a football match.

Daniel Akpeyi of Moroka Swallows has praised in the influence of Steve Komphela on the Dube Birds ahead of their match against Kaizer Chiefs. Picture: Muzi Ntombela / BackpagePix

Published Nov 25, 2023


Kaizer Chiefs will desperately want to avoid the ignominy of back-to-back Soweto Derby defeats when they visit Dobsonville cross-town rivals Moroka Swallows in a Dstv Premiership clash on Sunday (starting 3.30pm).

Two weeks ago, Kaizer Chiefs hosted bitter rivals Orlando Pirates at the FNB Stadium, but the Orlando visitors left with the bragging rights after a 1-0 win.

Another defeat for the Amakhosi will be hard to swallow, and should that happen the Khosi Nation will go into hiding in Soweto.

A Chiefs defeat will be doubly humiliating because Swallows will have an Amakhosi old boy in the dugout directing their operations.

Steve Komphela is a former Chiefs player and was head coach from 2015 to 2018, though his dugout tenure failed to bring silverware to Naturena.

Chiefs, with interim coach Cavin Johnson at the helm, will not be high on confidence when they arrive at the Dobsonville Stadium tomorrow.

They have lost four of their last five matches across all competitions, and seeking redemption will be high on their agenda.

Chiefs are 10th with 14 points, after 12 games, on the Premiership standings.

Komphela’s “Dube Birds” have shown steady improvement in recent weeks, and they sit fifth on the log, with 18 points after 10 matches.

During the time that Komphela coached clubs such as Manning Rangers, Maritzburg United, Bloemfontein Celtic, Golden Arrows and Mamelodi Sundowns, he met Chiefs 23 times. He won only three times, had seven draws and suffered 13 defeats. However, Swallows players have bought into Komphela’s way of thinking.

Their Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi has been so impressed by Komphela’s coaching that he feels the Dube Birds can play like Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. High praise indeed.

“Playing a team that is struggling is always difficult, so it’s not going to be an easy game altogether,” said Akpeyi.

“They will be desperately looking for points, while we will be looking to sustain our position on the log.

“So, this will be a case of two lions on the battlefield at Dobsonville on Sunday.

“But we know what to expect and we are more than prepared for the test.”

Before he arrived at Swallows, Komphela was part of the Sundowns hierarchy that guided The Brazilians to six consecutive titles.

Swallows’ midfielder Tlakusani Mthethwa says Komphela arrived at the club with a winning mentality. Komphela will only be happy if he can take three points off Chiefs.

“We knew long ago that we would play Kaizer Chiefs, so we have been preparing for the game,” said Mthethwa.

“If we draw, he is not happy at all because he comes from a winning club.

“He has had that implanted in his DNA and he has to get three points in each game.

“Each has pressure for us because our coach needs all the wins that he can get.

“It might bring a little more pressure because the supporters will be out in full force at Dobsonville, but some of us are used to that.

“We have a plan, and we know where we might have to settle for a point and where we must get three points,” he said.

“We are going to this game needing to win because it is our home game. There is no excuse for us to settle for a point, let alone lose.”