MTN8 Preview: Sundowns, Celtic set for MTN8 battle

MTN8 Preview: Sundowns, Celtic set for MTN8 battle
Tebogo Langerman of Sundowns

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Aug 15, 2019. 19:00

Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic will do battle in the quarterfinal of the 2019 MTN8 when they meet at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday 17 August, kick-off at 18h00.

Sundowns come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw away to Chippa in a midweek league clash. The Tshwane side looked on course for victory in Port Elizabeth, but conceded a late equaliser to be denied a second straight league win.

The Brazilians are three-time champions in the MTN8, with their most recent triumph arriving in 2007. Last year they exited the competition in the semifinal stage, losing on penalties to eventual champions Cape Town City after a 1-1 aggregate draw over two legs.

Celtic are in great form coming into this cup clash, having racked up an impressive 5-0 home win over Golden Arrows in a league clash last weekend. Ndumiso Mabena, Manzi Masuku, Harris Tchilimbou, Mzwanele Mahashe and Andile Fikizolo netted for the Bloemfontein side.

Phunya Sele Sele won their only MTN8 title in 2005. Their last appearance in the competition was in 2015 when they reached the semifinals (eliminating Sundowns in the quarters) before being ousted 2-1 on aggregate by eventual runners-up Kaizer Chiefs.

Sundowns and Celtic have clashed in 13 previous cup games. The Brazilians have claimed nine outright wins compared to three (plus one by penalties) for Phunya Sele Sele. The teams’ most recent cup game was in the first round of last season’s Telkom Knockout, with ‘Downs claiming a 1-0 home win thanks to a goal from Gaston Sirino.

Overall, the teams have met in 75 matches across all competitions since 1985. Sundowns have 39 wins compared to 16 for Celtic, while 20 matches have been drawn. The most recent encounter between the teams was an Absa Premiership clash in March 2019 which ended in a goalless stalemate.

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