Defending MTN8 champions take on Pirates

Defending MTN8 champions take on Pirates
Ntsikelelo Nyauza of Orlando Pirates challenged by Aubrey Modiba of Supersport United during Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Orlando Pirates and Supersport United at Orlando Stadium Johannesburg South Africa on 05 December 2017 ©Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Aug 10, 2018. 11:30

Defending MTN8 champions SuperSport United will battle Orlando Pirates in this year’s third quarterfinal, set for the Orlando Stadium on Saturday, 11 August 2018, kick-off at 20h30.

Pirates earned their place in the 11th edition of the ‘Wafa-Wafa’ by finishing second on the Absa Premiership log in 2017/18. The Soweto giants are returning to the MTN8 after missing out on the 2017 competition.

The Buccaneers fell out of the quarterfinals of the 2016 MTN8 after losing to Bidvest Wits, and overall they have won the Top Eight nine times (1972, 1974, 1978, 1983, 1993, 1996, 2000, 2010 and 2011) – a record bettered only by their arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

SuperSport’s place in this year’s MTN8 was secured with a seventh-place finish in the 2017/18 top flight. Initially they had missed out on the top half of the table, but a recalculation after the Tendai Nodor-Ajax Cape Town saga saw them moved up the standings.

Matsatsantsa claimed the MTN8 trophy last season thanks to a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Cape Town City in the final. It was the club’s second Top Eight cup title, following their first success in 2004 when the competition was still known as the SAA Supa8.

In head-to-head stats, Pirates and SuperSport have met in 21 previous cup matches. Matsatsantsa have claimed 10 outright wins (plus two by penalties) compared to six (plus two by penalties) for the Buccaneers, while five matches have been drawn.

The teams’ most recent knockout clash was the final of the Nedbank Cup in 2017 which saw United claim an emphatic 4-1 wins thanks to goals from Bradley Grobler (two), Jeremy Brockie and Kingston Nkhatha.

Overall, the teams have met in 75 matches across all competitions since 1990. Pirates have recorded 28 wins (and 92 goals) compared to 27 (85 goals) for SuperSport, demonstrating that traditionally there has been little to choose between these teams in the rivalry. This was further underlined in their league meetings last season, which both ended in goalless stalemates.

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