Chippa looking to get the better of Galaxy

GOODMAN Mosele of Chippa United is expected to lead play for the Chilli Boys in Mbombela this afternoon. | BackpagePix

GOODMAN Mosele of Chippa United is expected to lead play for the Chilli Boys in Mbombela this afternoon. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 14, 2024



CHIPPA United’s first tough real test stands between them and a place in their first Nedbank Cup semi-final in three years, as they go on a mission at 3pm this afternoon to invade Mbombela Stadium and stop the Rockets’ launch to their second title in the competition.

Famous for chopping and changing their coaches, Chippa lost their last encounter with TS Galaxy at the same venue in the DStv Premiership, when then-coach Morgan Mammila was beaten 2-0 by Sead Ramovic’s Rockets.

Mammila had done well to survive the axe, but a run of 10 matches picking up only nine points out of a possible 30, including a loss against the Rockets, saw him get his marching orders.

Thabo September and Kwanele Kopo were roped in and have been on a decent run of form since taking over as co-coaches.

With the semi-finals looming, they have a first sniff at bringing the much-wanted silverware to East London. Chippa lost 1-0 against Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC in the final of the 2020/21 season.

According to Kopo: “TS Galaxy and the coach have been together for a while and they are a well coordinated team. They’ve had good results in their last three matches. A good team in possession, whereas if you look at us we are a team that’s still in a building process. We’ve only been together for three months, but there are good signs.”

The Chilli boys are also on course to go one better than they did last season in the Dstv Premiership, after they finished 14th on 30 points.

They are currently tenth on the table after 23 matches, with only one point separating them from a top eight spot and one point away from going one better than last season, with seven games left.

“We will look at the last game we played with Galaxy in the league, and see what was done right and where do we need to improve,” said Kopo.

“We will analyse and continue to work on the same basis we have since we got here, we pay a lot of attention to the team’s performance and we’re slowly integrating new things because we found the team in the middle of the season.”

Chippa’s progress to the Nedbank Cup last eight this season has been through the ABC Motsepe Championship sides, a weakness the Rockets may look to exploit.

However, Kopo believes their preparations have never been determined by who they come up against, but they take every encounter seriously.

“It’s not easy to play against such teams (lower division sides) from a mental and physical perspective, maybe tactically,” Kopo said.

“They always come highly motivated, they (always) want to give their all and therefore it becomes a mental challenge for our players, who don’t get to see ABC Motsepe teams often.

“Naturally you can easily undermine and overlook such teams, that’s why you get upsets; our approach has been to be respectful and ensure we get through.”

Galaxy will have the advantage of having played tougher opponents leading up to this clash, but having tried out a lot more combinations, Chippa will also feel they are well prepared.

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Nedbank CupPSL