SuperSport United – Kaizer Chiefs

SuperSport United - Kaizer Chiefs – Saturday 25 May – Moses Mabhida (15:00)

Bernard Parker

Bernard Parker of Kaizer Chiefs

SuperSport United and Kaizer Chiefs will meet in the Nedbank Cup final at the majestic Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon. League champions Kaizer Chiefs will look to bounce back from a shock league defeat at the hands of University of Pretoria as they look to dethrone defending Nedbank Cup champions SuperSport United.

Gavin Hunt’s SuperSport are aiming to defend the title they won last year, but face a determined Kaizer Chiefs side who are chasing the league and cup double. Matsatsantsa defeated Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in last year’s final. SuperSport marched onto the Nedbank Cup final with a 3-2 win over Platinum Stars after extra-time in a match played at Platinum’s home ground, Royal Bafokeng Stadium.  Goals came from Kermit Erasmus, Clifford Mulenga and veteran Sibusiso Zuma, who scored in the 105th minute of play.

However, the Pretoria team were humbled 3-0 by Platinum Stars at the same venue in the final PSL match of the season last Saturday. Coach Gavin Hunt had one eye on the Nedbank Cup final and rested a number of stars, including Bevan Fransman and Innocent Mdledle, who were both one booking away from a suspension. First choice strikers Erasmus and Zuma were also rested along with Ashley Hartog. That result left SuperSport in sixth place on the log, after losing only five games this season but managing only eight wins with a record 17 draws in their 30 matches.

Their solid backline has saved them many a time this season as their attacking players have failed to impress on most occasions. The experience of well travelled Bevan Fransman has been beneficial as SuperSport have failed to keep their solidity when the Bafana Bafana centre-back is out of the team. Their road to the final has been less glamorous than the Glamour Boys’.

Besides the semi-final win against Platinum, Matsatsantsa scraped a win in the first round against Moroka Swallows via penalty shootouts and earned hard fought 2-1 wins against Vasco da Gama and Maritzburg United.

Kaizer Chiefs, who had already bagged the ABSA Premiership title ahead of the final round of PSL fixtures, went down 1-0 to the University of Pretoria in Nelspruit last weekend. Chiefs booked their place in the final of the Nedbank Cup with a 2-1 win over a spirited United FC at the FNB Stadium. Chiefs got two early goals from in-form striker Lehlohonolo Majoro and George Lebese which was enough to advance to the final. United’s late consolation was the first goal conceded by Chiefs in the Cup.

Their road to the semi-final started with a 3-0 trouncing of Bidvest Wits, a 2-0 win over Bay United and 1-0 victory against Clinton Larsen’s Bloemfontein Celtic. Amakhosi were last in the final of the Nedbank Cup competition in 2006, when they defeated Orlando Pirates on penalties. That match was also played in Durban at the Kings’ Park Rugby Stadium.  Chiefs have also already played at the venue this season, they won their Last 16 clash against Polokwane City and not many can forget their 6-0 league victory against AmaZulu early on in the campaign.

Chiefs had the better of SuperSport in the league this season, with a 2-1 win in the first round and a recent 1-1 draw which ensured their league title. The Amakhosi players who represented Bafana Bafana in the Nations Cup this year will feel a similar atmosphere, getting spurred on by a capacity crowd of which at least 90% of support will be for Amakhosi. Back Chiefs to take an inspired victory.

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