Amakhosi beat Maritzburg United 5-3 in the MTN8 quarterfinal after extra time, coming back from being 2-0 down at half-time.
“Celtic will be motivated,” comments Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala about Sunday’s first leg of the MTN8 semifinal away against Bloemfontein Celtic, “especially with their home crowd coming out in force to support them.
“That wasn’t an easy game,” admits the Chiefs captain, who has showed fine form early in the season. “The odds were against us at half-time. It was a very important win. It was a test of character.”
Chiefs played to a goalless draw in this season’s first Absa Premiership game against Chippa United last Sunday.
“Sure, we wanted to gain maximum points against Chippa,” Tshabalala reflects, “but it wasn’t to be. We need to try to break the opponent’s defence more.”
Last season, Amakhosi faced Platinum Stars in the MTN8 semifinal, beating them 2-0 (on the road) and 3-0 at home going on to beat Orlando Pirates in the final.
However, a repeat of this feat is still a few steps away.
On Sunday’s match against Phunya Sele Sele, the 30-year-old adds: “The Celtic match will be another tough header, especially with their crowd cheering them up. However, we want to get a result – a draw or a win – to take into our home game for the second leg in two weeks time. We need to be mentally prepared.”
The first leg of the MTN8 semifinal will be played at the Free State Stadium on Sunday, 16 August (kick-off at 15:00).