Tshwane rivals set for MTN8 showdown

Tshwane rivals set for MTN8 showdown
Dean Furman of Supersport challenged by Lebohang Maboe of Sundowns during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 football match between Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Pretoria on 03 August 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Aug 29, 2019. 13:00

SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns will renew their rivalry when they meet in the first leg of their 2019 MTN8 semifinal. The clash is set for the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Sunday 1 September, kick-off at 15h00.

SuperSport earned their place in the final four with an impressive 3-0 away win over Bidvest Wits in the previous round. Bradley Grobler opened the scoring, before new striker Thamsanqa Gabuza added a brace to wrap up an emphatic victory over the Clever Boys.

Matsatsantsa have won the MTN8 twice and were champions as recently as 2017. Last year they reached the final for the second successive season but were beaten 4-1 on penalties by Cape Town City (after the teams drew 1-1 after extra time).

Sundowns’ quarterfinal saw them come from a goal down to defeat Bloemfontein Celtic 3-1 at home. Ndumiso Mabena put Phunya Sele Sele ahead in Tshwane, but ‘Downs struck through Themba Zwane, Mosa Lebusa and Keletso Makgalwa to ensure progression into the semis.

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.

In head-to-head stats, SuperSport and Sundowns have met in 13 previous cup matches: the Brazilians have claimed eight wins compared to five for Matsatsantsa. The teams’ most recent cup meeting was in the quarterfinals of the 2016 MTN8, with ‘Downs claiming a 3-1 home win.

Overall, SuperSport and Sundowns have met in 70 league and cup matches dating back to 1990. The Brazilians have 38 wins compared to 20 for Matsatsantsa, while 12 game have been drawn. The teams’ most recent meeting was in the first weekend of the current Absa Premiership season, with ‘Downs winning 2-0 at home on August 3 thanks to goals from Sibusiso Vilakazi and Themba Zwane.

The return leg of this semifinal will be played on September 18 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.

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