DURBAN - The former Under-23 national team coaches, Steve Komphela and Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba will battle it out for a place in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup.
Komphela of Golden Arrows is pitted against Mashaba of Witbank Spurs in the Cup on Saturday at 3pm.
Mashaba stunned Maritzburg United at the first hurdle on penalties. The former Bafana Bafana boss will be eyeing another big scalp against the Premier Soccer League side.
Speaking with the media, Komphela, made it clear that it won’t be elementary against Mashaba.
“It is going to be a difficult match because Bra Shakes is a highly experienced coach. Obviously players respect him and he has got the pedigree. Witbank Spurs are also a serious team in the NFD. I even know the boss of the team.
We played Witbank Spurs when I was still at Free State Stars and it wasn’t an easy match to play, “ Komphela said.
Abafana Bes’thende haven’t won a cup since 2009 and they’ll be looking to end their trophy drought.
“We have to go profile them and watch them. We know what happened against Maritzburg. Who says to you, ‘it will be easy going to play Witbank?’. It is going to be a difficult match,” he added.
Witbank are winless in their past two games - they shared the spoils with Uthongathi FC in a 1-1 stalemate in their last encounter, and last week, they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat against Pretoria University.
“The quicker we get information about them, the better, so that we can know what they are doing,” Komphela explained.
Arrows suffered their first loss under Komphela’s regime over thew weekend, as they were shot down 3-2 by SuperSport United at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Clermont.
“There were very few negatives... in fact the only negative today (Sunday) is the result. All three of the goals that we conceded came from us. We could have defended all those three balls. The first one, second and the third one were give-aways.
You can’t give away so many goals and expect to win the match. Apart from that there’s a lot of positives. Sabelo (Siphamandla) made a difference, Conco (Siboniso) made a difference, Bilankulu (Musa) made the difference,” Komphela elaborated.
Komphela has done well in South Africa’s version of the FA Cup with KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) teams. He reached the final with Manning Rangers back in 2004 before being knocked out in the last four with Maritzburg in 2014.
“We went to the final in 2004 and we reached the semi finals with Maritzburg. We will keep working. After 16, we will go to eight but we are not going to underestimate the opponents. We have to be serious and work hard.” Komphela concluded.@Minenhlecr7