Birds, Citizens meet again with MTN8 final on the line

Birds, Citizens meet again with MTN8 final on the line
Abbubaker Mobara of Cape Town City challenges Dillan Solomons of Swallows FC during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match between Swallows FC and Cape Town City 24 September 2021 at Dobsonville Stadium / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Sep 28, 2021. 20:42

Swallows FC and Cape Town City will meet for the second time in five days, but this time a place in the MTN8 final will be up for grabs.

The Birds and the Citizens will clash in the return leg of their semifinal on the evening of Wednesday 29 September 2021, with kick-off at the Dobsonville Stadium set for 18:00 CAT.

There has been nothing to separate these teams thus far in the 2021-22 season: they played out a goalless stalemate in the first leg of this semifinal tie, played at Athlone Stadium in late August, and followed it up with another 0-0 in a DStv Premiership clash this past Friday in Soweto.

A hat-trick of goalless games would lead to penalties, which may well be the only way to come up with a winner… unless one of these teams can lift themselves out of relative slumps in form.

The Birds are winless in their last five matches across all competitions – with under-fire coach Brandon Truter placed on leave – while the Cape side has won just once in their last five outings.

“I’m happy with the point but I think at the same time we controlled the match, and possibly we should have come away with the three points,” said City coach Eric Tinkler after the teams’ league meeting last Friday.

“But it was a far, far better performance from the team overall and I’m very proud of them because I felt it was important to bounce back with a positive result.”

The Citizens will be looking for a return to the final after back-to-back appearances in the title match in 2017 (champions) and 2018 (runners-up), while the Birds are hoping to qualify for their first Top Eight final since they last won the competition in 2012.

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