Friday Aug 26, 2022. 11:00
A Tshwane derby between Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United will be the headline game as the MTN8 quarterfinals are played on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August.
Usually beginning prior to the start of the league season, this term’s MTN8 only kicks off after five full rounds of the DStv Premiership have been completed, allowing teams to get up to speed before a high-stakes round of knockout football.
Sundowns and SuperSport will meet at the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria on Sunday evening in the last quarterfinal, with both clubs looking to shrug off underwhelming starts to their campaign.
The good news for the Brazilians, who are reigning MTN8 champions, is that they boast a six-game unbeaten streak against Matsatsantsa – though the last time United got the better of their cross-town rivals, it was in the 2019 semifinals of this very competition (and SuperSport went on to win the cup title).
Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi says nobody should read too much into their imperfect start to the season: “We are still building the conditioning side of the players to make sure that they are ready for the gruelling part of the season, the first five matches of the season will never really tell you much.”
The quarterfinals get underway on Saturday afternoon with Cape Town City hosting AmaZulu and looking to claim revenge for a 2-1 loss at the hands of Usuthu when the teams meet two weeks prior in a league clash.
Saturday evening’s match-up is another we have already seen this season, as Royal AM welcome Orlando Pirates to Chatsworth Stadium.
The Buccaneers, who won the MTN8 as recently as 2021, beat Thwihli Thwahla 1-0 when the teams met at the same venue on August 17 – though it was a tight game that suggests their quarterfinal clash this weekend will be another hard-fought affair.
Sunday afternoon’s showdown is between Stellenbosch and Kaizer Chiefs at Danie Craven Stadium.
While the MTN8 is a ‘free hit’ for Stellies on tournament debut, this game is an absolute must-win for the Amakhosi, who have won this cup a record 15 times but need to keep alive immediate hopes of ending a trophy drought that stretches back to 2015.
MTN8 quarterfinal fixtures
Saturday 27 August
15:00: Cape Town City v AmaZulu
18:00: Royal AM v Orlando Pirates
Sunday 28 August
15:00: Stellenbosch FC v Kaizer Chiefs
18:00: Mamelodi Sundowns v SuperSport United