Rama wary of Mabhida nightmare

Kaizer Chiefs defender Ramahlwe Mphahlele has reflected on the past incident in Durban and is hopeful they will avoid similar scenes this coming weekend.

Chiefs are set to square off with underdogs and First Division surprise package TS Galaxy in this year’s Nedbank Cup final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

The venue holds some good and bad memories, but one in particular from recent history will stand out given the similar course of the current season to that of last year, as well as the competition.

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Violence and vandalism marred their previous Nedbank Cup visit to the iconic 2010 World Cup stadium in April last year, when they were eliminated in the semi-final by eventual winners Free State Stars, which prompted the resignation of former coach Steve Komphela.

The club was later charged by the PSL DC and ordered two play their next two matches at the venue behind closed door.

But Mphahlele has since admitted the memory of that fateful day still haunts them and was a topic of discussion prior to this year’s semi-final visit to Chippa United last month, while also conceding that with one more hurdle to overcome it remains a fear factor.

“Yeah, I remember last season we lost the semi-final there [at the Moses Mabhida Stadium] and it wasn’t a very good day with the scenes after the game,” Mphahlele admitted.

“So, when we played the semi-finals this season, we spoke about it amongst the gents to say, ‘Guys, last season we lost the semis, so can we go one step further this time?’

“And we did that – we went one more step into the final now, but now obviously there is still one more [hurdle to overcome].

“Yes, we’re in the final, we’re happy we’re here and we’re going to give it everything that we have, because we know we’re play a very good team.”

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The 29-year-old further highlighted the threat of Dan ‘Dance’ Malesela’s outfit and assured Chiefs will offer Galaxy the respect they deserve, despite their being 14 places below them on the current pyramid.

“We know ‘Dance’, he’s going to play football whether it’s against Sundowns, Chiefs or Pirates, they’re going to play,” he added.

“So, we have to give them the respect. They deserve it because they are in the final, and they deserve to be in the final. They didn’t get any favour to reach this stage, so we have to give them full respect and know that we’re playing a very good team.”

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