“All games are important,” George Maluleka points out, while looking ahead to Wednesday’s CAF Confederation Cup encounter against Zanzibar’s Zimamoto at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. “Because that’s the culture of our club.”
Kaizer Chiefs were edged 2-1 by Orlando Pirates on Saturday, but the midfielder prefers not to reflect too much on that game. “We have to stick together. We have another match on Wednesday and that’s what we need to focus on.”
The first leg of the preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup is a welcome return for the Glamour Boys to the African club competition after having missed out on the previous two editions.
Chiefs first participated in an African Cup competition in 1993. It concerned the CAF Champions Cup, nowadays called the Champions League. Amakhosi reached the second round of the 1993 Champions Cup when it was beaten over two rounds by Egyptian side Zamalek.
The biggest success of the Glamour Boys on the African continent came in 2001, winning the Cup Winners’ Cup. Muhsin Ertugral’s coached side beat Angola’s Interclube in the final. The African Cup Winners’ Cup competition merged in 2004 with the CAF Cup to form the CAF Confederation Cup.
The Glamour Boys most recently participated in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of the CAF Champions League.
“We want to do well in Africa,” Maluleka continues. “It will be a step up for us. It’s important for the club to succeed in Africa. Kaizer Chiefs are one of the biggest clubs in Africa and that comes with responsibilities.”
Maluleka had a difficult start to the season, struggling with a few niggling injuries. The midfielder, however, is getting into his groove now. “I am slowly getting to my best,” confirms the 28-year-old.
The match will take place at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Maluleka is happy with Chiefs’ decision to take the game to Port Elizabeth. “We haven’t played in PE for a while. We are looking forward to playing in front of our supporters there, who always give us good support. They usually come in numbers and I hope that it will be the same on Wednesday.”
The preliminary stage first leg encounter between Chiefs and Zimamoto is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 28 November 2018. Kick-off is at 19:30.
Tickets are sold at TicketPro via www.ticketpros.co.za and CNA/Jet/Spar/Edgars outlets nationwide. Tickets cost range from R40 adults and a limited first come first served R20 children tickets.