On this Day… 21 October 2006
On this Day… 21 October 2006

Posted in Features, News on Oct 21, 2020.

Rotson Kilambe scored in the 62nd minute to help Kaizer Chiefs beat SuperSport United to win the SAA Supa 8 trophy on Saturday, 21 October 2006.

The Zambian striker still vividly remembers that goal he scored on this day, 14 years ago. “Emmanuel ‘Scara’ Ngobese – may he rest in peace – delivered a cross into the box from the left. I came from the far post inside. The ball went really fast and I had to slide to make sure I got to the ball, tipping it into the goal.”

The Amakhosi crowd went wild at the Absa Stadium in Durban.

Kilambe had won the SAA Supa 8 the previous year as well, although he was at the time at Bloemfontein Celtic. He netted the sole goal against SuperSport United in the 65th minute, three minutes later than the one for the Glamour Boys in 2006.

The Zambian international had joined Amakhosi at the beginning of the 2006/2007 season.

Coach Ernst Middendorp had called Kilambe for a quick chat on the day before the SAA Supa 8 final. “You’re playing tomorrow,” the German said. “I just want to give you some instructions.” He finished by saying, “You’re are a striker, so you have to score.”

Kilambe, who is now the assistant coach at Green Eagles in Zambia, highlights the team spirit in that Chiefs side. “We were encouraging each other with everyone being very vocal. We all knew that we needed that trophy.”

The now 42-year-old former striker was partnered up-front in the final by Shaun Bartlett, who had joined that season from English side Charlton Athletic.

“We continuously motivated each other during the match,” Kilambe reflects, before singling out some players who performed excellently in the final. “Tinashe Nengomasha was the general in midfield, Fabian McCarthy was outstanding in defence and Rowen Fernandez made some crucial saves in goal.”

Talking about Fernandez, the Zambian relates a story. The Chiefs goalkeeper had said before the match, “Rotson you need to score.” The Zambian reacted, “that’s fine, as long you keep a clean sheet” to which the goalie reacted, “as long as you score, I will keep your goal”.

After Kilambe’s excellent finish in the 62nd minute, he went to Fernandez and reminded the goalkeeper about their agreement. Amakhosi didn’t concede.

Kilambe failed to play many games for Chiefs after that final, as he struggled with a persistent hamstring injury. It was also the season that Kaizer Motaung Junior was in brilliant form, mixing well with Bartlett up-front and scoring 12 goals.

“The injury was frustrating,” reflects the attacker, who after that season returned to Zambia to play for Power Dynamos.

He still closely follows Chiefs’ results. Last week, on a WhatsApp group with fellow Zambians he added, “Happy birthday to my former Chairman, Kaizer Motaung.”

Kilambe, who also played for Mamelodi Sundowns, felt that Covid-19 was the reason Amakhosi didn’t snatch the league title last season. “The break in the season affected some teams more than others. It definitely cost Chiefs the league.

“However, they have a good side and I am sure they can challenge for the title again this season. I wish them all the best.”


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