Wafa Wafa fi­nal brings high stakes

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

Is it Cape Town’s turn again? Two years ago, the MTN8 tro­phy went to Ajax Cape Town, and Bid­vest Wits lifted last year’s edi­tion.

This year’s fi­nal will pit Cape Town and Gaut­eng clubs against each other.

Ahead of Satur­day’s MTN8 fi­nal in Dur­ban, the big ques­tion is, will Benni Mc­Carthy or Eric Tin­kler be the last coach stand­ing?

In other words, be­tween Cape Town City and Su­perS­port United, which will take home the prize?

While the vic­tors will pocket a whoop­ing R8 mil­lion, reach­ing the fi­nal is enough for the los­ing team as they will walk away with the same amount of money, like the clubs that were knocked out in the quar­ter­fi­nals did – each one got R800 000.

Both coaches are new at their re­spec­tive clubs and win­ning the first tro­phy of the sea­son will be a per­fect start to their reigns. But there can only be one vic­tor.

The fact that Tin­kler knows City like the back of his hand may work in his favour. Un­til three months ago, Tin­kler was at the helm of the Cape side, where he won last sea­son’s Telkom Knock­out.

He may claim he has their num­ber, but that may also be far from the truth as Mc­Carthy has trans­formed the side since tak­ing charge. There are new play­ing per­son­nel and they have al­ready made a dif­fer­ence to the side. Although many may ar­gue that he in­her­ited a well-oiled ma­chine and is rid­ing on Tin­kler’s legacy, the truth is that Mc­Carthy has al­ready won the hearts of many as City have be­come the team to beat within a very short space of time.

City warmed up for the fi­nal with a con­vinc­ing win over home­boys Ajax Cape Town in a Cape derby last week­end, while United laboured to a 1-1 draw against Tu­nisian side Club Africain in the Caf Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup.

The in­ter­na­tional break means both coaches have had two weeks to pre­pare for this im­por­tant clash and to work on their play­ers’ short­com­ings.

Fol­low­ing a much-pub­li­cised foul-mouthed out­burst, Mc­Carthy will be ad­vised to take his anger else­where.

United will have to be clin­i­cal in front of goals if they are to land this tro­phy.

This will be their sec­ond suc­ces­sive sil­ver­ware win – fol­low­ing their tri­umph in the Ned­bank Cup in June – if they go all the way. They go to the same venue where they lifted their last tro­phy, but can they get the same re­sults?

They seem to have saved their best for this tour­na­ment – if their pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters are any­thing to go by.

Jeremy Brockie, who scored two goals against Mar­itzburg United in the semi­fi­nals, will be look­ing to add to his tally. Thuso Phala has also re­dis­cov­ered his scor­ing form and could be the man to de­liver the tro­phy.

Mc­Carthy will, once again, look to Nige­rian striker Vic­tor Obinna to show his scor­ing prow­ess.

Obinna net­ted his first goal for the Cit­i­zens in the Cape derby and will be hop­ing for good things to come.

All the ques­tions will be an­swered on Satur­day even­ing at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban.

ON THE BRINK Eric Tin­kler has done well since join­ing Su­perS­port United

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