Maritzburg United will be targeting SuperSport United’s scalp when they visit Tshwane for their MTN8 first leg semifinal on Saturday night at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Kick-off is at 8:15pm.
The Team of Choice comes from three consecutive wins in all competitions since the start of the 2017/18 Premier Soccer League campaign.
Having beaten Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinal, Platinum Stars and Ajax Cape Town in their first two Absa Premiership matches, they are a motivated side.
Looking at the hosts, SuperSport are also out to lift their first trophy in the new campaign as they are fresh from a win over Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 quarterfinal
Despite losing their league opener to Sundowns, coach Eric Tinkler has a motivated squad at his disposal after leading them to a 2-1 win over Amakhosi in their midweek league encounter.
Previous starting XI
SuperSport United v Kaizer Chiefs: Williams, Kekana, Daniels, Gould, Ritchie, Letsholonyane, Mokoena, Phala, Modiba, Wome, Grobler
Maritzburg united v Ajax Cape Town: Mpandle , Sanoka, Fransman, Xulu, Makaringe, Ndlovu, Shandu, Maboe, Saal, Mekoa, Rusike
Head-to- Head (since 2005/06)
PREVIOUS CUP MEETINGS
Season Cup Result Scorers
2012/13 Telkom KO quarters Maritzburg 0-2 SuperSport Nkoana, Zuma
2012/13 Nedbank Cup quarters Maritzburg 1-2 SuperSport Malajila; Maluleka, Gabonamong
LAST 10 LEAGUE RESULTS
Season Result Scorers
2012/13 Maritzburg 0-0 SuperSport
2012/13 SuperSport 0-0 Maritzburg
2013/14 Maritzburg 0-1 SuperSport Mathebula
2013/14 SuperSport 1-3 Maritzburg Grobler; Isaacks, D. Booysen, Mandaza
2014/15 SuperSport 1-4 Maritzburg Manyama; Mandaza 2, Cele, Anas
2014/15 Maritzburg 0-1 SuperSport Brockie
2015/16 SuperSport 2-2 Maritzburg Daniels, Brockie; M. Cele, Mngonyama
2015/16 Maritzburg 1-2 SuperSport Rusike; Grobler, Brockie
2016/17 Maritzburg 0-1 SuperSport Phala
2016/17 SuperSport 4-1 Maritzburg Masango 2, Nkhatha, Brockie; Lentjies
OVERALL RECORD (all competitions)
P W D L GF GA
SuperSport 24 14 8 2 44 18
Maritzburg 24 2 8 14 18 44
What the teams are saying:
Maritzburg United coach Fadlu Davids:
“SuperSport is a fantastic team with a cup pedigree. We have young players who have not been in a semifinal before – they have an advantage,” said Davids.
“We have to respect them because they are cup specialists having won cup and league titles in the past few seasons.
“We will definitely go all out as we have nothing to lose. They are the team capable of winning titles come Saturday.
”Yeah of course credit must go to the players for their belief, we played a good game against Sundowns.
“Look, the league form is out of the picture now and we are away in the first leg. We know United can beat any team anytime as we saw what they did to Chiefs.
“And all in all Tinkler is a good coach, we saw what he did at Cape Town City and now he has real quality at Supersport with many international players.”
SuperSport United coach Eric Tinkler:
“In the first half, we really should have killed the game off with the chances that we had. We could have easily come in at halftime 4-0 up,” said Tinkler after the Chiefs match.
“But we made the game difficult for ourselves. We know it’s never easy playing against 10; I don’t know if it’s a psychological thing, but the chances we created, they went down to 10 [men], we got the goal, we got the second, and then we switched off. You can’t do that with the speed Chiefs have.
“And in the second-half, we weren’t there. We stopped applying the principles that we had practised, and that’s the disappointing part for me.
“Second-half performance was simply not good enough. We gave them [Chiefs] too much time, too much space, and you’re playing against 10, you got a spare man and you’re backing off, and that shouldn’t be happening.
“So we need to sit and discuss those issues with the players and make them understand you can’t be doing that, especially against a team like Chiefs because they’re going to punish you.
“This was an opportunity to keep a clean sheet and we threw it away, which is disappointing.”
Key players for SuperSport:
The Bafana Bafana goalkeeper is one of the most consistent performers for the club. In cup competitions, Williams has established himself as one of the finest penalty specialists and will hope to deliver a fine display come Saturday.
Grobler is known as terrible twin to Jeremy Brockie as they have continued to lead United to glory in major cup competitions. Having scored against Amakhosi during the week, he will target to continue with his form in front of goal.
Key players for Maritzburg united:
The left-footed winger continues to establish himself as one of the finest wingers in the league. He will be dangerous when it comes to set pieces and his crosses will be vital for United’s attack.
The Zimbabwean forward is targeting to down another Tshwane giant. He scored a great goal against Sundowns in the previous round. Having netted a brace against Ajax on Wednesday, Rusike is set to be a tough customer for United with his high confidence.