JOHANNESBURG – The banter ahead of Saturday’s much-awaited Absa Premiership clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB Stadium was at an all-time high on Wednesday afternoon.
In a joint press conference hosted by Amakhosi, where both Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane and captain Hlompho Kekana were invited, the two camps teased each other in the build-up to what’s expected to be a thriller.
It is one that has even been labelled as much more value for money than the Soweto Derby between Chiefs and arch-rivals Orlando Pirates, which has ended in goalless draws for several seasons now.
At the heart of the wisecracks was Amakhosi goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune avoiding talking about new Sundowns striker Jeremy Brockie, who has in the past put a few balls past South Africa’s No 1 goal-minder during his time at SuperSport United.
Brockie joined the Brazilians for an undisclosed fee last week.
“I don’t want to make this a rivalry,” said a smiling Khune. “The game is between Chiefs and Sundowns, but we know the qualities of Brockie.
“I have my defenders that I will help guide and tell them where they need to be so that I don’t have to make any saves.”
And then the two coaches squared off by comparing their latest signings, particularly the arrival of striker Leonardo Castro from Sundowns to Chiefs this month.
Steve Komphela was tired of using just words to explain his 3-5-2 formation. So he WROTE it down. pic.twitter.com/8aYQx9PYEr
Mosimane suggested his club had been generous enough to offer Amakhosi the Colombian forward to help ease their scoring conundrum, while Steve Komphela suggested the Glamour Boys were shrewd in negotiating the release of the striker – six months before his contract with Sundowns actually expired.
“What Chiefs wants, Chiefs gets,” said Komphela.
“When we put our eye on something, then we do whatever it takes to get it. I won’t go any further.”
Mosimane had moments earlier joked that Komphela was happy that “I have handed him Castro, someone who can finally score goals”.
If the game is as good as the press conference was, then expect fireworks at the Calabash on Saturday night.