CAPE TOWN, October 13 – The SuperSport United players will have last season’s Telkom Knockout final defeat to Cape Town City in mind when the two sides meet in the 2017 MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.
The Cape outfit, under the guidance of now-SuperSport United head coach Eric Tinkler, beat Matsatsantsa 2-1 to claim the 2016 Telkom Knockout; earning their first piece of silverware in their first season since formation.
Just under a year later and the two sides will slug it out again, this time in the winner-takes-all-R8 million top eight competition. With both sides possessing an array of potential match-winners, the showdown in KZN has the makings of a thriller.
Neither club has made wholesale changes to the teams which battled it out at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in last season’s TKO final, and amongst those who were on the losing side last December, is SuperSport midfielder Dean Furman. The Bafana Bafana anchor-man admits there will be an element of revenge at play.
“We’ve now got ourselves to the final and, I wouldn’t say ‘revenge’ is the right word but, last year’s Telkom Knockout defeat is still fresh in our memories, I’m sure the coach [Eric Tinkler] will know. But we haven’t forgotten that, and it was one that hurt us, so we need to put that right come Saturday evening,” Furman was quoted saying by KickOff.
Tinkler, meanwhile, claims that going up against his former club and facing the players he so recently mentored won’t affect anything.
“There is no sentiment because if you are a professional‚ you move on,” he said. “It is about SuperSport United and winning things for them now. We are going there with the attitude and mentality that we want to win‚ and if that happens we will celebrate with humility. At the end of the match we will still be friends regardless of what happened.”
A case could be made that the Pretoria outfit has a stronger squad than Cape Town City; SuperSport certainly do have an array of deadly attacking talent including Jeremy Brockie, Thuso Phala, Thabo Mnyamane, Bradley Grobler and Reneilwe Letsholonyane.
And Tinkler hinted that was one of the factors he looked at when deciding to leave the Citizens after just one season in charge: “Stuart Baxter left a very good foundation here at SuperSport United and that is one of the main reasons why I chose to come here – because of the quality of personnel at the club‚” he said.