SuperSport United CEO Stan Matthews has described his side as having a free pass at Cape Town City in tomorrow’s MTN8 cup final, but says the club would love, all the same, to win a first trophy for new head coach Kaitano Tembo.
Matsatsantsa took the decision this season to focus more on the Absa Premiership, after the experience last season of fighting their way out of a relegation battle.
This was shown again as they hammered Black Leopards 4-0 in a league game on Sunday, showing no signs of distraction ahead of tomorrow’s battle for R8 million at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
SuperSport have a fantastic record in knockout competitions in recent times, winning three Nedbank Cups, two MTN8s and a Telkom Knockout in the last six and a bit years, but haven’t done so well in the league since they won three Premiership titles in a row between 2007 and 2010.
Saturday’s final is a repeat of last year’s MTN8 final, which SuperSport won against City on penalties.
“In a way, we have a free pop at them (City) in the cup, though I know the boys would love to retain the MTN8, to know the feeling of holding on to what you have” Matthews told Phakaaathi.
“There is also a determination to give Kaitano his first trophy and chalk up another piece of history.”
Ronwen Williams could be key for SuperSport in the final, especially if it goes to penalties – the young keeper is a bit of a spotkick specialist, saving two to help SuperSport to glory in last year’s final. Williams also saved a penalty in extra time and another in the shoot-out in SuperSport’s MTN8 quarterfinal win over Orlando Pirates this year.
“He is key for us, especially in a cup final …. if it is a draw (in the match) we know Ronwen is going to save two penalties. We always know if we can score four penalties ourselves, we will take it (the shoot-out).”
Williams will be a certainty in goal, while across central midfield Tembo does seem likely to pick his usual trio of Teboho Mokoena, Dean Furman and Reneilwe Letsholonyane. Up front, Evans Rusike and Bradley Grobler could start, though James Keene put up his hand with a brace against Leopards.