Mamelodi Sundowns will face off with Maritzburg United in the 2017 MTN8 Cup quarterfinal match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday.
Kick-off is at 3:00pm.
The Brazilians settled for a second spot finish in the Absa Premiership last season after failing to defend the league title, but they qualified for this year’s MTN8 Cup competition.
Although, Sundowns have won the Top 8 tournament three times, they have never clinched it since mobile telecommunications company, MTN, started sponsoring competition in 2008.
The Team of Choice, who have never won this tournament, are back in the MTN8 after finishing seventh in the Absa Premiership last season.
Maritzburg made their maiden appearance during the 2015/16 campaign and they were knocked out by Kaizer Chiefs in the quarterfinal encounter.
Head-to-Head (since 2005/06)
PREVIOUS CUP MEETINGS
Season Cup Result Scorers
2006/07 Absa Cup, last 16 Sundowns 1-0 Maritzburg Apataki
2010/11 Telkom KO, qfinal Maritzburg 2-0 Sundowns Bester (pen), McCarthy
2011/12 Nedbank Cup, qfinal Sundowns 2-0 Maritzburg Mokoena, Mushekwi
LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS
Season Result Scorers
2012/13 Sundowns 1-2 Maritzburg Mushekwi; Buckley 2
2012/13 Maritzburg 0-3 Sundowns Mphela, Shongwe, Mushekwi
2013/14 Sundowns 2-2 Maritzburg Mashego, Billiat; Smeekes, M. Booysen
2013/14 Maritzburg 1-1 Sundowns Isaacks; Schut
2014/15 Sundowns 1-1 Maritzburg Mashego; Awal (pen)
2014/15 Maritzburg 1-2 Sundowns Lentjies; Laffor 2
2015/16 Sundowns 3-0 Maritzburg T. Zwane, Langerman, Moriri
2015/16 Maritzburg 2-3 Sundowns Rusike, Onyango; Kekana 2, Billiat
2016/17 Maritzburg 0-0 Sundowns
2016/17 Sundowns 2-2 Maritzburg Zakri 2; Onyango, Rusike
P W D L GF GA
Sundowns 3 2 0 1 3 2
Maritzburg 3 1 0 2 2 3
OVERALL RECORD (all competitions)
P W D L GF GA
Sundowns 25 16 5 4 48 23
Maritzburg 25 4 5 16 23 48
What are the teams saying
Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana:
“This is the year we want to rectify everything because this is a trophy (MTN8) we want as a club. We want to win trophies and having Oupa (Manyisa) with us will help with that. He has got a lot of experience that will rub off on the younger guys,” he said.
“He has been to the CAF Champions League final with (Orlando) Pirates‚ so the experience he has tells you that the guy understands the game. He understands what it takes for him to play for Mamelodi Sundowns.”
Maritzburg United head coach Fadlu Davids:
“We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing in our previous matches. But we don’t want to be looking into the last game we played them (Sundowns), we were not successful,” he said.
“We should try and correct things that we did not do well against them and try and get the result. It’s not a draw game, it’s not any points that you are playing for. So, it’s just about getting to the next game.”
The players to look out for in the Sundowns team are Themba Zwane and Percy Tau.
Themba Zwane reclaimed his place in the Sundowns starting line-up midway through last season and has now established himself as one of the key players for Pitso Mosimane’s side.
The 28-year-old midfielder’s exciting creative skills and passing ability make him a dangerous player in the final third and he will look to inspire his side to victory over Maritzburg.
Tau is coming off his breakthrough season in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the midfielder-cum-striker brings a creative element into the Sundowns team.
The 23-year-old attacker, who is blessed with good dribbling skills, pace and an eye for goals, is likely to prove to be a thorn in the side of the Team of Choice’s defence.
Maritzburg’s two key players are Brian Mandela Onyango and Mohau Mokate.
Onyango has established himself as one of the top defenders in the Absa Premiership and the Kenya international has been heavily linked with a possible move to Sundowns.
The defender is a threat from set-pieces – having scored four league goals for Maritzburg last season. He will be hoping to produce an impressive display against Sundowns and help his side win.
Mokate had a good season with Maritzburg last season – netting five goals in 12 league starts and the striker was included in South Africa’s 2017 COSAFA Cup squad.
The 26-year-old frontman, who tends to make clever runs in the opposition box, has a knock of scoring important goals for the Team of Choice and he could stun the Brazilians in their own backyard.