Chiefs have edge against Sundowns


Kick off is at 17h00.

Nengomasha has made significant progress from an Achilles tendon injury which saw him removed moments before kick off from the encounter against AmaZulu last week.

The Zimbabwean is likely to return to training today although this is no guarantee that he will start in the match against Sundowns.

The Amakhosi have had a resurgence of sorts in the last few weeks of what has been a poor season by their standards, winning three straight games.

League wins over Free State Stars and AmaZulu sandwiched a 2-0 defeat of Ajax Cape Town in the first round of the Nedbank Cup, setting up this tie with the Brazilians.

And, following their penalty shootout win against the Chloorkop outfit in the final of the league cup late last year, Chiefs will be confident of keeping up a record against Sundowns that sees them undefeated against the Brazilians in cup ties since the 2000/01 season.

Sundowns, after an impressive win over Tshwane rivals Supersport United in the first round, will be keen for revenge against the Amakhosi.

Their doubtful starters, captain and defender Michael Manzini and midfielder Jorge “Gattuso” Acuna, are making progress with their respective injuries that they suffered during the 3-0 league victory over Black Leopards in Thohoyandou last week.

Manzini hurt his left knee after he landed on the ground awkwardly just before the end of the first half while Acuna was troubled by the recurrence of the hamstring injury.

The duo are continuing with their rehabilitation processes and team doctor, Arnold Human, says they are making considerable progress and he is hopeful that they will be ready to play against Chiefs at Kings Park Stadium in Durban.

The absence of the duo has opened doors for Mbulelo “OJ” Mabizela and Vuyo Mere who were returning to the team after being absent for various reasons.

Downs have been in good form lately, winning on three fronts in the league, Nedbank Cup and African Champions League, but Chiefs will provide a real test of their character.

Both sides have already picked up silverware this season (the Top Eight for Sundowns, the league cup for Chiefs) but their disappointing campaigns in the Premiership means that Muhsin Ertugral and Trott Moloto will both be under pressure to add the Nedbank Cup to their respective club's trophy cabinet.

Victory in this match could just give the winners the momentum and confidence to go all the way to the final. But the losing coach could well find his job forfeit, if not now then possibly at the end of the season.

1996/97Chiefs 2 (Mooki, Ndlanya) Sundowns 0Sundowns 3 (Makalakalane 2, Chukwu) Chiefs 1 (Mooki)

1997/98Sundowns 0 Chiefs 0Chiefs 2 (Masunda, Mooki) Sundowns 0RC Final - Chiefs 1 (Lebese) Sundowns 1 (Chukwu)RC Final Replay - Sundowns 1 (Chukwu) Chiefs 1 (Muchichwa) Chiefs won 3-2 on penalties

1998/99Sundowns 0 Chiefs 0Chiefs 1 (Mooki) Sundowns 2 (Ramasike, Mudau)Rothmans Cup - Chiefs 2 (Mooki, Nomvethe) Sundowns 2 (Masilela, Bapela) - Chiefs win 2-1 on penalties

1999/2000Chiefs 1 (Makua) Sundowns 1 (Tshisevhe (og)Sundowns 3 (Feutmba, Shai, Manzini) Chiefs 1 (Nomvete)Bob Save Final - Chiefs 1 (Nomvete) Sundowns 0

2000/01Chiefs 2 (Nomvete 2 (2pens)) Sundowns 1 (Chukwu)Sundowns 0 Chiefs 1 (Evans (og))BP Top 8 3rd Place - Chiefs 3 (Pule, Nauseb 2) Sundowns 2 (Meiring, B.Mnguni)Bob Save Super Bowl semi final - Chiefs 0 Sundowns 2 (Chukwu 2)

2001/02Sundowns 1 (Mudau) Chiefs 0Chiefs 1 (Nzama) Sundowns 1 (Bapela)BP Top 8 Final - Chiefs 2 (Zwane, Nzama) Sundowns 2 (Mudau 2) - Chiefs won 7-6 on penalties

2002/03Sundowns 0 Chiefs 0Chiefs2 (Mushangazhike, Mabedi (pen)) Sundowns 0

2003/04Chiefs 2 (Moshoeu, Mayo) Sundowns 0Sundowns 0 Chiefs 2 (Moshoeu, Kannemeyer)ABSA Cup 1st Rd - Sundowns 1 (Jordaan) Chiefs 3 (Moshoeu, Dlamini, Mendu)

2004/05Chiefs 1 (Mbesuma) Sundowns 1 (Ngwenya)Sundowns 3 (Mashe, Sapula, Mthombeni) Chiefs 4 (Radebe, Mbesuma 3)

2005/06Chiefs 1 (Obua (pen)) Sundowns 0Sundowns 3 (Dladla 2, Moriri) Chiefs 1 (Obua)ABSA Cup semi final - Chiefs 0 Sundowns 0 - Chiefs won 2-1 on penalties

2006/07Chiefs 0 Sundowns 0Sundowns 2 (Chabangu, Torrealba) Chiefs 1 (Fernandez (pen))

2007/08Chiefs 0 Sundowns 0Telkom Knockout Final - Chiefs 0 Sundowns 0 - Chiefs won 3-2 on penalties