2 minute read
28 Nov 2014
11:22 am

United look for first trophy under Igesund

SuperSport United will look to make it “third-time lucky” in Saturday's Telkom Knockout final against defending champions Platinum Stars in Soweto.

FILE PICTURE: Gordon Igesund. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

United have finished the competition as runners-up on two occasions, in the successive years of 2004 and 2005, but have never lifted the League Cup in any of its guises.

An appearance in the final looked highly unlikely at the start of SuperSport’s season under Cavin Johnson.

United stuttered to a single victory in five games before Johnson was shown the door.

In stepped Gordon Igesund, who is attempting to lift his first trophy with his new team just three months into the demanding job.

“Regardless of who you’re coaching, you want to win trophies,” Igesund said ahead of Saturday’s final at Orlando Stadium.

“Winning a league championship is the ultimate. It’s the toughest of all. But a cup competition gives an opportunity to everybody because it’s three or four games and you’re into the final.

“It’s hugely important to win silverware. It makes the supporters and the club very happy. It’s all about winning things and both teams have this opportunity over the weekend.”

The former national coach has steered SuperSport past Free State Stars, Wits and Orlando Pirates on the way to seven out of nine victories in all matches since taking over in September.

Matsatsantsa face a Stars outfit which have become used to being considered outsiders, despite being the current holders.

Last season, Dikwena lifted both the MTN8 and Knockout titles, both times against Orlando Pirates, when a win for Allan Freese’s team was considered improbable.

Stars have already made their intentions clear this season, beating Chippa United, Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns on their way to the final.

The Rustenburg outfit faced an unbeaten Chiefs side in the second round, eliminating the run-away Amakhosi train on penalties, before ousting defending Premiership champions Sundowns, courtesy of Eleazar Rodgers’ second half goal against his former employers.

“If you beat Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns on the way to reaching the final, you’ve done a good job,” Igesund said of Stars’ strong performances.

“We have a lot of respect for Allan and his team. We know they will be very competitive and if we want to beat them, we’re going to have to be at our best on the day.”

Freese will look to deploy Rodgers inside the opposition’s area much the same as he did against Sundowns.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit to score goals,” Freese, a man of few words, said.

“I’m happy that Eleazar has been scoring a goal here and there.

“It’ll be good for us to defend the trophy.”

The striker scored his first ever Premiership hat-trick last weekend for an impressive four-goal tally from his last two games, making the former Santos attacker the man to watch in the Dikwena team.

On the SuperSport side, Dove Wome poses the biggest threat going forward. The striker, currently on loan from Sundowns, has netted seven goals in 13 games for Igesund’s team.

– Sapa