Soccer

Midfielders hold key to cup glory

'Yeye' and the 'General' the ones to watch in decider

08 October 2017 - 00:00 By SAZI HADEBE

Revenge will be uppermost in the psyche of SuperSport United players who couldn't believe it when Cape Town City beat them 2-1 in the Telkom Knockout final in December.
Winger Aubrey Mngoma and striker Judas Moseamedi got the goals that saw the then newly assembled City win a trophy in their first season in the top flight of SA football.
SuperSport and City meet in the MTN8 final - in its 10th edition sponsored by the mobile telecommunications giant - at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The winner takes home a handsome R8-million while the runner-up pockets R800,000, an amount earned by the other six teams in the competition.
In the Telkom Knockout final at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Eric Tinkler, who now sits on the SuperSport bench, was City's head coach, and current Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter was in charge of Matsatsantsa.
City are now led by Benni McCarthy, who only began at the start of the current season.
Here are a few interesting battles:MATCH WINNERS:
Teko Modise (Cape Town): "The General" will relish winning the MTN8 gold medal, which is one piece of silverware missing in his glittering cabinet. He won the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout (both 2015), two Premier Soccer League titles (2013/14, 2015/16), and a Caf Champions League medal last year with former employer Mamelodi Sundowns.
Operating as a playmaker, Modise is capable of changing the complexion of the game.
But at 34 years, his appearances at City have been limited by injuries and McCarthy is only using him when his experience is needed most. In a City squad not brimming with stars, Modise is one player who won't be overawed by the occasion in Durban.
Reinelwe Letsholonyane (SuperSport): In his second season with SuperSport after a great stay at Kaizer Chiefs where he won two league titles, a Nedbank Cup, two MTN8 and two Telkom Knockout cups, "Yeye" has already won two Nedbank Cup medals with SuperSport last year and in June this year.
The final on Saturday presents the 35-year-old with yet another opportunity to win a trophy, this time with a team which had faith in him when Amakhosi couldn't see any use for him.
This final will once again see him showcase his creative skills in midfield where he's expected to dictate terms and decide the outcome of the match with scintillating passes.KEY BATTLES:
Jeremy Brockie (SuperSport) versus Robyn Johannes (Cape Town): Brockie is deadly with both his feet and head but City fans will trust their captain to take care of him.
Left alone in the 18-yard area, Brockie will punish City and McCarthy will rely on Johannes and his men at the back to close all the tracks of the New Zealand-born striker who is expected to start the match.
The 29-year-old leads with three goals.
Lehlohonolo Majoro (Cape Town) versus Morgan Gould (SuperSport): Majoro's brilliant first touch, positioning and pace could give a slow but strong-tackling Gould (34) a good run for his money. Man-to-man marking might help Gould to win this one but what is unlikely is him managing to do that for the entire match.
SuperSport fans can expect 31-year-old Majoro to be on top of his game on Saturday, which could help City if there is no adequate cover to mop up behind Gould.
hadebes@tisoblackstar.co.za

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