Island style
Island style

Posted in News on May 11, 2001.

Kaizer Chiefs arrived in the tropical island of Seychelles, confident that local outfit Sunshine SC would pose little threat to Amakhosi's ambitions in this year’s Mandela Cup, Gavin Barker reports.

The part time islanders qualified for the second round of the competition courtesy of the away goal rule after draw 4-4 with minnows Fighters from Botswana.

However, they are unlikely to offer much more than stubborn resistance to their more illustrious visitors.

Chiefs will be in an uncompromising mood after their thrilling last-minute victory over Sundowns earlier in the week and will be looking to this game as a confidence booster ahead of their vigorous run in to the Premier Soccer League campaign.

But coach Muhsin Ertugral cautioned his players about complacency. "Cup football is all about upsets. Those upsets happen because players go into games thinking the game is already won. I’m taking nothing for granted and ensuring the players don’t either."

Ertugral knows little of his opponents but believes the rising standards of Seychelles football can’t be overlook.

"I watched their league champions Saint Michel (who play Egyptians Al Ahli in the African Champions League on Friday) play in Reunion earlier in the year, and they were very good. I’m convinced their rivals Sunshine will be tough at home but a little easier to handle in South Africa. They will view this first game as their only hope of upsetting us and will throw everything they have at us."

Midfielder Robert Nauseb has a better hands-on understanding of the challenge awaiting Chiefs. Nauseb was part of the Namibian team, which ousted the Seychelles from the preliminary World Cup qualifiers last year by a 7-1 aggregate score.

"We found them difficult to beat at home as they were quick and never stopped running, especially in the second half when we were tiring because of the heat. We managed a draw but thumped them 6-0 at home. I expect a similar situation in these two games."

While Chiefs will have the beating of their opponents in ability, the local conditions could play their part in the outcome of this encounter. With the mercury touching 37 degree during the day and with humidity that makes Durban in December seem bearable, Amakhosi will have to pace themselves if they hope to dominate the game from start to finish.

"Playing in unfamiliar conditions is what this competition is all about," says Ertugral. "But while the heat will effect the players it will not effect their overall performances."

Chiefs will be without their form player Nhlanhla Kubeka who was not registered for the first two rounds of the competition.

The young defender has been in superlative form in the team’s recent encounters with Sundowns in the Bob Save Super Bowl and the league. His marking role is likely to be taken by Isaac Mabotsa.

The game kicks off at 6pm local time (4pm SA time) at the Stade Linite (Unity Stadium).

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