Am­bi­tion drives plot in MTN8 fi­nal

The Mercury - - FRONT PAGE - Kam­lesh Go­sai

WHAT­EVER Su­perS­port United and Cape Town City lack in glitz, glam­our and pedi­gree they will make up for it with their com­mon de­sire for suc­cess, the am­bi­tions of their coaches and mod­ern at­tack­ing foot­ball when they meet in the MTN8 fi­nal at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban to­mor­row night.

In the ab­sence of tra­di­tional crowd-pullers Kaizer Chiefs and Or­lando Pi­rates, this clash on neu­tral ter­ri­tory will ap­peal more to the young, mod­ern sup­porter who val­ues hard graft and at­tack­ing and de­fen­sive dis­ci­plines more than the flashy stuff. There will be fancy moves, too, with Thuso Phala of Su­pers­port and Teko Modise of City ca­pa­ble of dish­ing it out, but pas­sion and de­ter­mi­na­tion are the key in­gre­di­ents, as em­pha­sised by the clubs’ as­sis­tant coaches. Su­perS­port are all about tro­phies, and this out­ing is a mere pit stop en route to the up­com­ing CAF Confederation Cup semi­fi­nal sec­ond leg away to Tu­nisia’s Club Africain next week­end, as they at­tempt to trans­fer their do­mes­tic suc­cess on to the con­ti­nent. City, on the other hand, are young and am­bi­tious, and ea­ger to ride on the early suc­cess of their de­but sea­son’s Telkom Knock­out achieve­ment.

If the weather Gods play ball, after a day of lash­ing rains and gusty winds that wreaked havoc across KwaZulu-Natal ear­lier in the week, then there should be plenty light­ning and thun­der un­der the sta­dium arch come 7pm.

“As Cape Town City we are grate­ful and priv­i­leged to be in an­other fi­nal. We’re in the sec­ond year of ex­is­tence and in our sec­ond fi­nal in 12 months, so there’s big ex­cite­ment,” said Ian Tay­lor in Dur­ban yes­ter­day.

In the build-up McCarthy has said it boils down to which­ever team wants it more. And more is what the Pre­to­ria out­fit want. In­di­vid­u­ally, as a coach Tin­kler craves suc­cess, and he couldn’t have found a bet­ter match in Su­pers­port, ac­cord­ing to his deputy Kai­tano Tembo.

The Zim­bab­wean was a player for Su­perS­port when they won their only top-eight tro­phy, in 2004, when it was known as the SAA Supa8.

This will be a fourth fi­nals ap­pear­ance, and go­ing by their cur­rent tro­phy form – they lifted the Ned­bank Cup in June – Su­perS­port will be favourites.

“We want to play in all the com­pe­ti­tions – we’re go­ing to Tu­nisia next, which is a big stage – and we last won this cup in 2004 so we want to cor­rect that,” said Tembo.

“We have as­sem­bled a squad of good pro­fes­sion­als.” Su­perS­port might shade City in terms of ex­pe­ri­ence, but in cap­tain Robyn Jo­hannes, fel­low de­fender Tham­sanqa Mkhize and Modise they have plenty of wise heads to guide the ris­ing stars like Ayanda Patosi, Lyle Lakay and Thabo No­dada. And with McCarthy’s win­ning men­tal­ity to or­ches­trate things from the touch­line, City will punch above their weight to make it an in­ter­est­ing con­test.

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