Komphela looks to break Downs hoodoo


Already without an open play win in six attempts against his club’s biggest rivals Orlando Pirates since he took over at Chiefs in June 2015 – Komphela is again searching for his first triumph over Sundowns, the third part of the Big Three in domestic football.

Saturday will be the fifth meeting for Komphela and his charges against their opponents from across the Juskei River in what stands as a Jozi versus Tshwane contest and the ultimate battle of the cities.

Komphela’s record as Chiefs coach against both Pirates and Sundowns right now means he hasn’t won in open play in 10 games against both of his club’s biggest rivals in domestic football.

Against The Brazilians his record reads – lost three and drawn one.

The first defeat against Sundowns for Komphela was in the 2015 Telkom Knockout final played at Moses Mabida Stadium on December 15 of that year.

Sundowns ran out 3-1 winners that day.

Less than a month later was a goalless draw in the first league match between two rivals last season.

Then at the end of May last season with Sundowns on their way to being crowned league champions they dismantled AmaKhosi at Loftus with another 3-1 win at Loftus.

Into the current campaign Chiefs were on the N1 North to Loftus were they found no joy yet again against Pitso Mosimane’s men who made sure all three points remained in the capital city with a 2-1 scoreline sealing the deal.

The last time AmaKhosi recorded a victory against The Brazilians was on April 29, 2015 at Lucas Moripe Stadium with Stuart Baxter still in charge of the Naturena-based club.

That win, secured courtesy of Bernard Parker’s injury-time strike, came with the league title already secured for the visitors and while that match was played just 23 months ago, eight of the players that did duty on that Wednesday night are no longer with Chiefs.

Reyaad Pieterse, Tefu Mashamaite, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Mandla Masango are all now with Baxter at SuperSport United, while Matthew Rusike, Siboniso Gaxa, Katlego Mphela and David Zulu have moved on to other clubs.

As Saturday nears, Komphela needs the points to keep the title charge alive as he works towards what is becoming a desperate push to finally win a trophy for Chiefs almost two years since taking over.

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