One of Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela’s favourite sayings is “the universe always favours the underdogs” but the Amakhosi mentor will hope it doesn’t prove true this afternoon when he guides his team against Mpumalanga based minnows, Acornbush United in a Nedbank Cup tie at Kabokweni Stadium.
On paper, Acornbush are no match for Amakhosi as the former play in the semi-professional ABC Motsepe League while the latter are giants of the Absa Premiership. But Komphela said they will accord the Nelspruit-based opponents the respect they would give to a fellow elite league team.
“It is actually where you have to show more respect. The same should go in our match. The challenge is profiling such teams is never easy. Even after you have profiled them something may change, either for their benefit or for yours,” said Komphela.
Amakhosi got their Ke Yona campaign to a positive start bucking the trend of struggling against lower division teams when they beat National First Division side, Stellenbosch 3-0. Acornbush had a fairy tale like start to their campaign, beating the Premiership’s form team and leaders, Cape Town FC 1-0.
“One thing you know is that this team would not have beat Cape Town City if they were not serious, they would not have been top of their league… Any team who play against us rises to the occasion,” said the 49-year-old mentor.
“They always make it difficult. There have been instances where teams play so well against Chiefs that you want to see them the following week anticipating a beautiful match and you end up asking yourself: ‘where is that team we played against last week?’
“That they are in the ABC Motsepe league to us is a non-issue we have a responsibility to perform and win. The fact that they got a result against City is a message to us that we should take them serious,” added Komphela.
Although the match will be played at the 8 000-seater stadium, Komphela said he will be happy if the turf is in good condition. The match is set for a 3pm kick-off tomorrow afternoon.