The Nedbank Cup Final will close what has been another enthralling ABSA Premiership season which saw Orlando Pirates retaining their title last weekend.
Its looks to be an exciting final with rivals SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns contesting the Tshwane derby. The match will be hosted at Orlando Stadium with both sides looking to end the season with a piece of silverware. The rivalry between the two clubs is fierce but friendship is always maintained between supporters of the two sides.
Matsatsantsa come into this match with a psychological advantage as they beat Sundowns 1-0 two weeks ago thanks to a late Sibusiso Zuma goal. Not much separated them on the league standings this season with SuperSport finishing third, two points above their rivals. SuperSport ended the season in formidable form racking up six wins from their last eight matches, losing only to Champions Orlando Pirates. Gavin Hunt’s men ended their campaign with a 2-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic last Saturday thanks to strikes from Kermit Eramus and Sibusiso Zuma. They advanced to the final after thrashing Amazulu 3-0 in the semi’s where star attackers Erasmus and Zuma got on the scoresheet. Ex-Bafana star Zuma has been a revelation this season after overcoming injury problems that has seen him struggle since returning to the PSL. One blow for SuperSport will be the absence of left-sided midfielder Franklin Cale, who setup the goal for Zuma against Sundowns, but received two yellow cards in that very same match.
Sundowns finished in a disappointing fourth spot in the league after leading the PSL for most of the season. The second half of the league season was a poor one for the Brazilians as they managed just five wins from 15 matches. However, they ended the season on a positive note edging Free State Stars 1-0 at home. Sundowns’ road to the final was an unforgettable one as they thrashed amateur side Powerlines FC a record breaking 24-0 in the first round. They then recorded comfortable 2-0 wins over Bidvest Wits, Maritzburg United and Free State Stars to reach the final. The poor form of Bafana ace Katlego Mphela has seen Nyasha Mushekwi rise to the occasion for Johan Neesekens’ side in the Nedbank Cup. The Zimbabwean striker has netted an amazing 11 goals, scoring in each round, with a brace against Wits and a double hat-trick against Powerlines FC. Elias Pelembe has been one of the key figures for Sundowns again this season and along with Teko Modise and Lebohang Mokoena provide the Brazilians with enough creativity from midfield.
These sides boast two of the best defences in the league having conceded the least amount of goals, 23 in 30 matches. In fact, Sundowns are yet to concede in the tournament whilst SuperSport have conceded just once, that goal coming in the first round. It should be another tight affair with SuperSport’s physical approach making it difficult for Sundowns to implement their total football style. However, Sundowns are tipped to outwit their opponents and nip the win .