Chiefs to take the Kudu by the horns
Chiefs to take the Kudu by the horns

Posted in News on Jul 10, 2002.

Defending Vodacom Challenge Cup champions Kaizer Chiefs are hot favourites to repeat what they did in Durban last year against Asante Kotoko -- beat St Eloi Lupopo of DR Congo and retain their silver Kudu for the third time at on Sunday.

AmaKhosi, who edged out the Ghanaians 3-2 via penalties to defend the trophy they won in 2000 and pocket R500 000, will host the Congolese at the Absa Stadium in Durban at 3pm.

Lupopo beat 1999 winners Orlando Pirates 4-3 on penalty shoots after being level 2-2 at regulation time in the first semifinal in Mmabatho last weekend while Chiefs cruised easily to the finals by beating Kotoko 2-0 in the second semi-final in Rustenburg.

Pirates and Kotoko will lock horns for the third spot which carries R150 000 in the first game at 12,30pm while the losers will at least pocket R100 000 for finishing fourth in the fourth edition of the soccer showpiece which was launched in 1999.

Focus will be on Chiefs, who if successful against Lupopo, will make a treble and keep the trophy for ever.

The South Africans, who will enjoy hoome advantage and massive support from local fans, could have it tough against the Lubumbashi-based club which is the first team from the Democratic Republic of Congo to participate in the Vodacom Challenge Cup.

Lupopo reached the final of the Congolese championship last season, losing to defending champions and arch-rivals TP Mazembe.

The side were the first-ever winners of the Congolese national championship in 1985 on the eve of the country's independence from Belgium.

They went on to win a further four championship titles in the competitive Congolese domestic league, their last success in 1990.

Their championship win in 1990 was the first time the league in that country had been run on a national basis, having previously been determined on a provincial level with play-offs for the various winners to decide the national championship.

Lupopo have also just qualified for the eight-team 2002 national championship in their country, having been crowned as champions of the Katanga province.

In African club competition, the team has participated in four African Champions Cup campaigns only to lose to Kotoko.

But warning bells have already been sounded by the locals to the visitors, who have been warned to triple their efforts against a determined Chiefs, who have vowed to win the cup for all South Africans.

If Jabu "Shuffle" Pule and goalkeeper Brian "Spiderman" Baloyi continue from where they left of against Kotoko then surely the game will just be for the spectators because the result is an obvious one.

This year's tournament has been dedicated to HIV/Aids Awareness.

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