Early Christ­mas present awaits City or United

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

What hap­pens when two in-form clubs meet?

The an­swer will be re­vealed at Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium in Polok­wane on Satur­day when high-rid­ing Su­perS­port United take on Cape Town City in the fi­nal of the Telkom Knock­out. Kick­off is at 6pm.

It is des­tined to be en­ter­tain­ing, ex­cit­ing and full of drama, with the pos­si­bil­ity of goals ga­lore.

Af­ter clos­ing last sea­son with the Ned­bank Cup tro­phy, United are look­ing to end the year with an­other tro­phy at the same venue where they won their last tro­phy.

But it won’t be easy against a resur­gent City, who are so far the sur­prise pack­age of the sea­son.

There is no doubt that th­ese sides have been in top form and it is not sur­pris­ing that they are the ones con­test­ing the R4 mil­lion prize money.

The book­mak­ers will have a dif­fi­cult time nam­ing their favourites as the game could go ei­ther way.

While Reneilwe Let­sholonyane and Thabo Mnya­mane have been out­stand­ing for United, City cap­tain Le­bo­gang Manyama, a for­mer United player, has also been at the top of his game for the Cape side.

Lehlo­honolo Ma­joro also seems to be re­dis­cov­er­ing his scor­ing form of late, hav­ing scored three times so far.

But it is the two coaches at the op­po­site dugouts who have been more im­pres­sive.

Not many gave Eric Tin­kler a chance to sur­vive at City af­ter be­ing dumped by Or­lando Pi­rates dur­ing the off sea­son.

How­ever, the 46year-old has done won­ders for the Cape side and con­tin­ues to sur­prise lovers of the game. He de­serves the credit for a job well done.

City will go to the fi­nal as un­der­dogs, but will fancy their chances, par­tic­u­larly af­ter scor­ing 10 goals in three matches dur­ing their cam­paign. They net­ted two over Bloem­fontein Celtic in the last 16 be­fore tak­ing four against Baroka FC in the quar­ter­fi­nal and an­other four in the semi­fi­nal against Free State Stars.

Stu­art Bax­ter, on the other side, will be aim­ing for his sec­ond tro­phy af­ter the Ned­bank Cup af­ter he joined Mat­sat­santsa a Pi­tori early this year.

United are a marvel to watch un­der Bax­ter, who has in­stilled a sense of self-be­lief in the play­ers.

They are un­beaten in 13 games in all com­pe­ti­tions and seem un­stop­pable af­ter ini­tially strug­gling at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son.

Their re­cent per­for­mances have gen­er­ated a pos­i­tive feel­ing ahead of the fi­nal.

United’s ex­cel­lent dis­play against Pi­rates and Mamelodi Sun­downs has given fans a rea­son to be op­ti­mistic, with the play­ers all clearly hun­gry to add the Telkom Knock­out win­ners’ medal to their col­lec­tion.

United are sweat­ing over the fit­ness of striker Jeremy Brockie, who fell vic­tim to Thabo Mat­laba’s vi­cious tackle in the semi­fi­nal.

The two sides are look­ing for an early Christ­mas present af­ter what has been a long year so far.

PHOTO: RYAN WILKISKY / BACK­PAGEPIX

ON FORM Le­bo­gang Manyama will be out to make his mark

PHOTO: SA­MUEL SHIVAMBU / BACK­PAGEPIX

GEM Reneilwe Let­sholonyane has been on top form

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