CHIPPA United head coach Dan “Dance” Malesela is expected to tweak his side ahead of today’s MTN8 semifinal, second leg showdown with Mamelodi Sundowns at the Lucas Moripe Stadium (7.30pm).
Malesela, who has masterminded the Chilli Boys’ remarkable revival, said yesterday that he could make “a couple of changes” to the side that held Downs to a 0-0 draw in a pulsating first leg in Port Elizabeth.
Said Malesela: “One will be an enforced change due to the injury to Rhulani Manzini, who is out for six weeks. But I’ll maybe make one or two other changes. I have not yet decided on my line-up.”
Manzini was injured in the first leg and was replaced by Tshwarelo Bereng. However, Malesela said he had not decided on Manzini’s replacement.
But the former Downs and Orlando Pirates defender is not reading anything into Sundowns’ 2-1 loss away to Zambian champions Zesco United in their Caf Champions League semifinal, first leg clash played in Ndola at the weekend.
Said Malesela: “I watched the game but you can’t tell much from that. Downs have a big squad and could make changes.”
Chippa can take a lot of comfort and credit from the gutsy 0-0 draw when they pushed Downs to the limit in one of the best games seen so far this season.
Said Malesela: “I have great respect for Sundowns. It could have gone either way. But this time we need to make sure – we need to get a goal.”
He confessed that home ground would give the Brazilians a slight edge but said Chippa would not be sitting back: “The last thing I want is for the match to go to a penalty shoot-out. I hate penalties. We must finish the business in 90 minutes. We must score, so I’ll take any score draw.”
The rules are if the game ends goalless after both legs, it goes straight to a penalty shoot-out. But should it end in a score draw, for example 1-1 or 2-2, Chippa will win on the away goal rule.
Malesela has the firepower in Thembinkosi Lorch, Buyani Sali, Bereng – if he plays – and playmaker Andile Mbenyane to test the likes of Tebogo Langerman, Wayne Arendse and Brazilian Ricardo Nascimento. The latter did not play against Zesco as he is not registered with Caf and will be a fresh pair of legs in defence for Downs head coach Pitso Mosimane.