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Rangers Host Arrows In 'Ya Chesa'

The result of the Coca-Cola clash between Manning Rangers and Golden Arrows on Sunday must surely be decided by the team whose coaching staff has managed to put the best combinations together in the shortest time. 

When the draw for the quarterfinals was made Steve Komphela and Khabo Zondo were there representing their clubs: Manning Rangers and Golden Arrows respectively.
When the draw pitted the two remaining Durban teams against each other, the two coaches posed for a picture.
When the two teams run out on Sunday at Chatsworth Stadium, two different coaches will be sitting on the bench after both Komphela and Zondo resigned and moved north.

Komphela has taken over at Dynamos, while Zondo moved to Sundowns.

Arrows have installed Sputla Biyela as caretaker coach, while Rangers are yet to make an announcement about the man who has taken over from the former Bafana captain.

Ironically, the man tipped to sit on the bench is former Orlando Pirates coach Roy Barreto.

But that is another story: a Coca-Cola Cup defeat against Rangers in the first round earlier this month effectively cost Barreto his job at the club he took to the Premiership title last season, but while players are cup-tied, there seems to be nothing in the rule saying that coaches are in the same position and Barreto might get a second chance at Coca-Cola Cup
glory much sooner than he expected.

The two teams met on the weekend in a league encounter with Biyela, who had only recently been employed as assistant coach at Arrows on the bench for them, while former Pirates player Ian Palmer and Alan Chetty shared the Rangers coaching.
Interestingly, Chetty was assistant coach at Arrows before leaving the club at the beginning of the season.

The two teams shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw - a result that must have pleased both clubs after the week of turmoil that saw their coaches departing.

For Arrows the game against Rangers is the second time in a row that the club with the long tradition in South African soccer has to face a city rival in the Coca-Cola Cup.

In the first round, Arrows took on Zulu Royals at Kings Park soccer stadium and managed a hard-fought 2-1 win over the first winners of the Coca-Cola Cup (then still named AmaZulu, they beat Kaizer Chiefs in the 1992 final).

Last season, after beating Santos in the first round, Arrows went out against Chiefs in the quarterfinals and are now looking towards a longer run.
Rangers, on the other hand, were knocked out by eventual winners Jomo Cosmos in the round of the last four. Their last win in a South African soccer competition dates back to the 1996/7 PSL championship and a win over Arrows would certainly be a step in the right direction towards changing that.

Seldom before has a South African soccer match had so many twists and sub-plots as the Coca-Cola quarterfinal encounter between the Durban rivals. But then is that not what one has come to expect of South Africa's premier knockout competition? Thrills, excitement and a bit of the unexpected!

Whatever happens, Durban will have a club in the Semifinals.  By Sunday night the four teams through to the semis will be secured and the draw will take place at Coca-Cola head office on Monday, 3 November, at 10.30am.

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