While the Vodacom Challenge title is something both Soweto clubs will desperately want to claim, their arch-rivalry will spur them on even further and fireworks can be expected.
Chiefs are the Vodacom Challenge holders, after beating Man City 1-0 in 2009, and they will not want to give up the title without a fight – and a fight is exactly what they are going to give the Buccaneers tonight according to their combative midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha.
“It is an important game for us. We do not want to lose to our biggest rivals. We also want a chance to play against Spurs in the Final and lift the trophy for our fans. Our motto this coming season is ‘Rise Khosi Rise’ and we will do our best to rise to the challenge,” the Zimbabwean says.
The last time the two clubs met in the Vodacom Challenge was in 2009 and on that occasion the Phefeni Glamour Boys walked away victorious, beating Pirates 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the game finished 1-1.
The last time Spurs were on our shores for the Vodacom Challenge, however, the Buccaneers got the better of Amakhosi when they beat them 1-0 in Port Elizabeth, thanks to a single goal from Bennett Chenene.
Happy Jele also suggests Pirates will be looking for revenge after suffering two heavy defeats to Chiefs last season, losing 3-1 in a League match and 3-0 in the Telkom Knockout Final.
“Playing against Chiefs is always a tough game, but we are going to give everything for the win especially after our losses to them last season,” the defender says.
Both teams will also be coming into the match on a high after registering positive results in their first encounters against Spurs.
Chiefs kicked off the tournament in fine style with a 1-0 win over Spurs thanks to a 92nd-minute goal from George Lebese, while the Buccaneers played to a 1-1 draw in their match against the English Premiership side (Rafael van der Vaart and Jele getting the goals in that game).
On his side’s winning performance against Spurs, Nengomasha says: “Spurs are a fantastic team with some of the best players in the world and although we know that the game we played against them was a friendly match the victory was still important.
"The result will also give us confidence going into the match against Pirates.”
Jele admits his team were happy with their passing game despite some poor options in the final third of the field.
“We had good passing, but we also showed indecision. We have only been training for two weeks, but we are getting there. There is still time to improve and we look to do so tonight.”