Acornbush aim to upset Chiefs
Acornbush United will square off with Kaizer Chiefs in the Nedbank Cup last 16 game at the Kabokweni Stadium in Mpumalanga on Sunday.
Kick-off is at 3pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)
ABC Motsepe side Acornbush were formed in 1987 and they are making their first appearance in the last 16 of this lucrative competition.
Last month, Acornbush clinched the Mpumalanga ABC Motsepe League title with four games to go and they are set to participate in this year’s National First Division (NFD) promotional playoffs.
They stunned current Absa Premiership log leaders Cape Town City 1-0 in the last 32 encounter at home, with Mduduzi Nkosi netting the only goal of the match almost a month ago.
Former Absa Premiership players Madoda Motha, Bongani Nyathi and Sifiso Thomo are some of the senior players in the Acornbush squad.
However, the team’s head coach, McDonaldo Makhubedu, has revealed that he will field his second string side against Chiefs, who have players on-loan at Acornbush.
“We are not unknown to Chiefs. We have five or six players from their development team so we are not a closed book to them,” Makhubedu said.
“The team that beat Cape Town City comprised mostly fringe players, and we will field the same team against Chiefs.
“It’s not a weak team, we only have good players, but it’s a completely different team to the one we use in the league.”
Meanwhile, Chiefs are the most successful club in this competition, having won it 13 times. The last time they lifted it was in 2013 – beating SuperSport United in the final.
Amakhosi recorded a morale-boosting 2-1 win over their Gauteng rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in an Absa Premiership clash at the FNB Stadium last weekend.
The victory extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions. This includes the 3-0 win over NFD side Stellenbosch in the last 32 match almost a month ago.
The player to watch out for in the Chiefs team is Bernard Parker. The experienced forward produced a man of the match performance against Sundowns.
Chiefs head coach Steve Komphela says they can’t afford to underestimate Acornbush, but he is anticipating a victory over the second division side.
“We must not forget that Acornbush beat Cape Town City on their way to the last 16 and top their regional log,” Komphela said.
“We will adapt our technical plan to the quality of the pitch. If the surface is okay, we will play our normal game. We can’t choose the stadium for an away game.
“We’ve put in a lot of work, especially on the aspects that needed attention. We anticipate a good result for Chiefs and move into the quarterfinals.”
This will be the first ever competitive match between Acornbush and Chiefs.