The MTN8 final: Too hard to call
Cape Town City coach McCarthy looking to win first title as coach while SuperSport coach Tinkler hopes to make title success a habit
IF PREVIOUS cup competitions are anything to go then in tomorrow’s MTN8 final between SuperSport United and Cape Town City, Eric Tinkler’s men should be the favourites.
But that is unlikely to be the case when the two teams meet at Moses Mabhida Stadium for the R8m winner take all prize.
SuperSport have more experience in winning cup finals but that might count for nothing. The last time the two clubs met in a final was in the Telkom Knockout in December with the Citizens claiming a 21 victory while Tinkler was still the coach.
As the two sides prepare for their second final in a year, there is clearly a lot at stake, given the cash prize and especially also for City coach Benni McCarthy who will want to win his first title as a coach in his first season at the helm.
Bafana Bafana’s alltime leading goal scorer has won many titles as a player and will want to replicate that as a coach.
On the other hand, Tinkler won his first title as a coach when City defeated SuperSport in the Telkom Knockout final and will be looking to win his second with Matsatsantsa a Pitori.
Strikers Lehlohonolo Majoro and Jeremy Brockie will look to carry their teams to glory tomorrow.
City, under the guidance of McCarthy, edged Polokwane City 10 in the first round before eliminating defending champions Bidvest Wits with a 31 semifinal victory to set up a final against SuperSport.
McCarthy, who has a Champions League winners’ medal to his name during his time with Porto, says he is “not feeling any pressure”.
Not yet anyway.
“To be honest, no, there are no nerves yet,” McCarthy said.
“I suppose when Friday comes, it will hit me. But, for now, it’s just important that I prepare the team properly. It’s just a game of football, like any other and it’s important not to begin to treat it any differently.”
Tinkler said his priority is winning the MTN8 final and after that he will think about the CAF Confederation Cup semifinal date against Club Africain next Saturday.
“I want to succeed. I want to win things. I want to be in finals. That’s where you measure yourself as a player and as a coach.
“For me, it made all the sense in the world coming to a good club like SuperSport. I am living my dream,” Tinkler said. » This will be the second meeting between these two teams in a cup final. Last year, City won 2-1 to lift the Telkom Knockout title – with Aubrey Ngoma and Judas Moseamedi scoring the goals, while Kingston Nkhatha scored a consolation goal for United.
Eric Tinkler was the coach when City lifted the Telkom Knock but on Saturday, he will be sitting on the opposing bench. With firsthand knowledge of both sides, he is wellplaced to get one over his former team.
This will be Benni McCarthy’s first cup final as a coach.
» The former striker has so far been just as trailblazing in his role as coach as he was as a player and all eyes will be on the battle of South Africa’s new generation of coaches.
SuperSport will be in their fourth straight cup final, having reached the final of the Nedbank Cup twice and Telkom Knockout.
Out of the four championship matches, the team from Tshwane prevailed in two, while new kid on the block City have won the single final they have been in since the team was formed only a season ago.