Callies, Chippa fight to be unlikely finalists

Callies, Chippa fight to be unlikely finalists
Pretoria Callies players warming up

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Apr 16, 2021. 09:00

Pretoria Callies and Chippa United will fight for a place in the Nedbank Cup final when they meet at Lucas Moripe Stadium on the afternoon of Saturday 17 April 2021, kick-off at 3pm CAT.

Callies, a team from South Africa’s second-tier GladAfrica Championship, have defeated fellow lower league sides Royal AM, JDR Stars and Cape Town All Stars to reach the penultimate stage of the cup competition.

However, they come into the clash off the back of some turmoil, having recently parted ways with coach Sammy Troughton due to poor results in their league campaign. Joel Masutha has since taken the reins, and defeating Chippa – a club he has been fired from twice – would be sweet revenge.

“The difference between there [Chippa] and where I’m working now is like night and day,” explained Masutha. “I’m given all the support I need to do my job. Finally, I’ve found a club that allows me to do my job uninterrupted.”

Chippa have gone through their own coaching malaise in recent times, replacing Dan Malesela with Belgian Luc Eymael – only to backtrack on the latter’s appointment given that he has been accused of racist behaviour in a previous role.

Siyabulela Gwambi is the Chilli Boys’ coach for now at least, and was in charge of a 2-1 league loss (which saw their winless run in the DStv Premiership stretched to nine matches) to Mamelodi Sundowns earlier this week.

He has urged Chippa’s players to take the lessons taught to them by the league champions and log leaders into this clash against Callies.

“This is the performance I think we can build on. It was impressive, you could see the boys are disappointed [after the loss], but they must not be discouraged. There is still a long way to go,” Gwambi explained.

“We can build from here. The reason I’m saying that is, you could see the built up to the game, the mood in the camp was very good. I don’t want to say that this game came at the wrong time. We will try our best in the next games to build from this performance.”

The Eastern Cape side has beaten Free State Stars, Cape Town City and Richards Bay to reach a third Nedbank Cup semi in the club’s history.

In head-to-head stats, this will be the first competitive meeting of Callies and Chippa.

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