Gert Schalkwyk against Letladi Madubanya of Bloemfontein Celtic © Frikkie Walsh/Backpagepix
Thursday Aug 02, 2018. 14:28
We take a look back at the MTN8 tournament in South Africa, focusing on the very first event in 2008.
MTN took over the naming rights of the Top Eight Cup in 2008 and re-launched the tournament as the MTN8, a winner takes all contest where the champions claim a massive R8-million cheque, while the runners-up and all other competing teams take home R800,000.
The MTN8 quarterfinals began in the first weekend of August, with SuperSport United stunning Orlando Pirates in the opening match. Moroka Swallows, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns joined Matsatsantsa in the last four after victories over Ajax Cape Town, Santos and Free State Stars respectively.
The two-legged semifinals were derby affairs, with Chiefs defeating Swallows 2-1 on aggregate in the battle of the Soweto sides, while Sundowns edged Pretoria rivals SuperSport on away goals after the teams played to a 4-4 aggregate draw.
The final in Durban between the Brazilians and the Amakhosi was delayed a day due to a waterlogged pitch, but the match, when it went ahead, was something of a disappointment, ending goalless after 120 minutes.
Chiefs proceeded to hold their nerve better in the penalty shootout and won out 4-3, claiming their 14th Top Eight title and becoming the first winners of the new MTN8.
2008 MTN8 Champions: Kaizer Chiefs (14th title)
2008 MTN8 Top Goal Scorer(s): Gert Schalkwyk (Chiefs), 3 goals
2008 MTN8 Last Man Standing award: Gert Schalkwyk (Chiefs)