HomeSportSoccerZimbos clash as Wits take on Chiefs

Zimbos clash as Wits take on Chiefs

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JOHANNESBURG — Bidvest Wits are looking to set the record straight when they take on Kaizer Chiefs in a first-round Telkom Knockout clash in the Bidvest Stadium today, according to coach Antonio Lopez Habas.

Kickoff is 8:15pm.

The last time the teams met, Chiefs beat the “Clever Boys” 3-1 in a Premiership fixture in Nelspruit last month and Habas said on Wednesday he wanted his side to reverse the result.

It is a clash of Zimbabweans as Wits is home to veteran Warriors midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha and defender Thomas Sweswe. Chiefs, on the other hand, have Willard Katsande, Jimmy Jambo, Lincoln Zvasiya and Kingstone Nkhatha.

New signing Matthew Rusike, who made his debut with a goal last weekend against Bloemfontein in the 4-3 loss in the Macufe Cup, is also part of the Chiefs team that is at the summit of the Absa Premiership standings.

“It’s a different game. It’s a cup game, so we know if we win we are okay, but if we lose we are out,” the Spaniard said.

“We are prepared and I don’t have problems with the team. It’s impossible for us to make excuses.”

Habas joined the “Students” in July, replacing current Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa, and he believed the new-look Wits side would be able to challenge the rest of the top-tier outfits in the knockout competition.

“The competition is here. The game is Friday (today),” Habas said.

“It’s 90 minutes at the Bidvest Stadium, so there is no problem. It’s another competition and our obligation is winning our competition with the personnel that we have.

“We are absolutely prepared. There are a lot of new players, a new coach, but we are ready.”

The former Mamelodi Sundowns boss added he would need to look at his team and consider giving some of the fringe players a run in order to keep the squad fresh for the rest of the league campaign.

He also dismissed claims that Chiefs, who are leading the Premiership standings after seven rounds of matches, would be weakened after several of their stars were on national duty for Bafana Bafana and could be absent for the cup clash.

Chiefs assistant coach Doctor Khumalo had hit out at the Premier Soccer League for scheduling the fixture as the first of eight in the opening round of the cup competition — three days after Bafana beat Kenya 2-1 in a friendly international in Nairobi.

Khumalo said they would have preferred to play the game later to give their international players a rest. —Supersport

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