The Star Late Edition

FAIRY-TALE ENDING TO NEDBANK CUP

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ACROSS the globe, everybody loves knockout football, because it gives the smaller clubs the chance to upstage the glamour teams and capture a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Knockout football is where fairy tales can come true – and that was the case when Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhand­ila (TTM) won the Nedbank Cup on Saturday night with a 1-0 victory over Chippa United.

It was a remarkable final, precisely because it was a “fairy-tale” ending to the competitio­n with two unfancied sides battling it out.

TTM’s pot of gold is a big one, R7 million to be exact, and another spin-off of their victory is that they have won a place in next season’s Caf Confederat­ion Cup.

On the road to the final, TTM beat SuperSport United, Swallows and Black Leopards, and most memorably, they beat Mamelodi Sundowns on penalties in a dramatic semi-final, just days after Sundowns had whipped Orlando Pirates in a league match.

So TTM richly deserve their pot of gold in more ways than one.

To add even more significan­ce to the story, TTM was only formed last year after they bought the status of the oldest club in South African football, Bidvest Wits.

Wits was 99 at the time. The new chairman Lawrence Mulaudzi decided to relocate the club to Venda, Limpopo.

But the club found the going tough in the top tier, and there were constant reports of players not getting paid.

Mulaudzi sold the club late last year to Abram Sello, and under his watch former players David Mathebula and Mpho Maleka took over the reins and brought a breath of fresh air to TTM.

Players such as Thabo Mnyamane, Thabo Rakhale, Washington Arubi, Joseph Malongoane and Miguel Timm became key before Sello appointed Dylan Kerr as coach, who took them to the Nedbank Cup final and all the way to glory.

After the match, coach Kerr paid tribute to his players for their “great achievemen­t” in walking away with the prestigiou­s title.

We congratula­te Kerr and we join him in saluting his players.

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