Moroka Swallows coach Steve Komphela says he was not surprised by the heroic performance of Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Sipho Chaine in the MTN8 final, having witnessed his qualities first-hand at Bloemfontein Celtic in the 2018/19 season.
Chaine was at his best as he saved three penalties as Pirates beat Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 in the shootout at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in the Wafa Wafa final.
Komphela said, when he was in charge of Celtic in the 2018/19 season, after he was sacked by Kaizer Chiefs in April 2018, he told the goalie that he was going places.
“Go ask Sipho Chaine what I said to him,” said Komphela.
“We were playing the Macufe Cup against Chiefs at Vodacom Park [now Toyota Stadium], I told him straight, I still remember vividly the tights he was wearing, he was more colourful and all that, at the Vodacom Stadium I said to him, ‘you are going places, my friend’.
“And what happened over the weekend, it is only shocking for those who don’t follow the game.”
Komphela’s Celtic won that Macufe Cup 2-0 at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein. But he left Celtic before the end of 2018 because he went months without being paid at the club and took over at Golden Arrows.
Chaine, meanwhile, stayed at Celtic until 2022 when Royal AM bought the status of the club. After joining Chippa United initially he was snapped up by Pirates in September 2022, and has since overtaken Richard Ofori Siyabonga Mpontshane in the club’s pecking order.
The 26-year-old, who was named Man of the Match in the Wafa Wafa final, was also in goals when the Soweto giants beat Sekhukhune United to win the Nedbank Cup trophy in May last season.
He has not looked back since being the preferred number one last season and has been in goals in five league matches, four games in the MTN8 and two in the CAF Champions League matches this season.
Based on his performances so far, it doesn’t look like Pirates coach Jose Riveiro will make changes in goals to give others a chance anytime soon, despite the club also recruiting the promising Melusi Buthelezi from TS Galaxy at the start of the campaign.