MTN 8 News 23.8.2018 12:56 pm

Chiefs and SuperSport renew cup rivalry in MTN8 semis

Hendrick Ekstein of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Thuso Phala of Supersport United (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Hendrick Ekstein of Kaizer Chiefs challenged by Thuso Phala of Supersport United (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs will renew their cup rivalry when they meet in the first leg of the 2018 MTN8 semifinals, with the match set for the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.

SuperSport earned their place in the final four by beating Orlando Pirates on penalties in the quarterfinals.

The Tshwane side played out a 2-2 draw with the Buccaneers at Orlando Stadium on August 11 – with goals from Dean Furman and Evans Rusike – before winning the post-match shootout 4-3.

Matsatsantsa claimed the MTN8 trophy last season thanks to a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Cape Town City in the final.

It was the club’s second Top Eight cup title, following their first success in 2004 when the competition was still known as the SAA Supa8.

Chiefs claimed the most emphatic win over any team in the quarters, thrashing Free State Stars 3-0 at FNB Stadium on August 11.

Dumisani Zuma, Leonardo Castro and Khama Billiat all scored to see the Soweto side move into the final four (for the first time since 2015) and claim revenge over Ea Lla Koto for a defeat in the Nedbank Cup at the back end of last season.

The Amakhosi have an unrivalled pedigree in the MTN8, having won it a record 15 times (most recently in 2014).

This year’s Top Eight cup must be seen as a priority for Chiefs and new coach Giovanni Solinas, who need a trophy early in the season to convince their demanding fans that a return to the top of South African football is a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.

In head-to-head stats, Chiefs and SuperSport have been regular combatants in cup competitions down the years, meeting in no less than 14 such matches since 1990. The Amakhosi have claimed eight wins compared to five (plus one by penalties) for Matsatsantsa.

The teams’ most recent cup clash was in the quarterfinals of the MTN8 last year, with United winning 1-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium thanks to a goal from striker Jeremy Brockie.

The Tshwane side went on to win the competition and may see facing Chiefs against as a good omen.

Last season’s league clashes between the teams also saw joy for SuperSport, as they beat the Amakhosi 2-1 away from home in the first half of the season (thanks to strikes from Aubrey Modiba and Bradley Grobler).

The return game at the Mbombela Stadium in January ended in a goalless stalemate.

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