MTN8 semifinal ties in the balance

MTN8 semifinal ties in the balance
MTN8 Trophy

by Graeme Jackson

Friday Oct 21, 2022. 11:00

Both MTN8 semifinal ties hang in the balance, with the second-leg matches set to be played this weekend in Polokwane and Durban.

The afternoon of Saturday 22 October sees Mamelodi Sundowns host Orlando Pirates at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, with the teams having drawn 0-0 at their first meeting at Orlando Stadium.

The Brazilians come into the match on the back of a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Marumo Gallants in midweek which ensured they remained top of the DStv Premiership log, while the Buccaneers returned to form with a 2-0 away triumph over Golden Arrows, in which Monnapule Saleng scored his first two goals for the club.

Sundowns administrator Alex Shakoane has explained why the Tshwane club took their home leg to the Limpopo province: “When you talk about Sundowns you are talking about a national squad, wherever we play is our home. Wherever we play we outnumber the host team in terms of bounce on the seat.

“Sundowns supporters, once you mention the name Orlando Pirates, we all have sleepless nights. It’s easy to motivate our players once you say Orlando Pirates. You don’t need the technical staff to talk to them, they motivate themselves. The only thing that the technical staff will have a problem with is to pick the right players on the day.”

The second semifinal wraps up in Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday 23 October, with AmaZulu hosting Kaizer Chiefs. The teams drew 1-1 in a fiery game in Soweto in the first leg, with four red cards dished out (though only one was to a player on the field).

Both Usuthu and the Amakhosi come into the match on the back of midweek draws in the league, with the former held 1-1 by provincial rivals Maritzburg United, while the latter needed a sublime goal from Keagen Dolly to salvage a 2-2 draw with TS Galaxy.

“Football is unpredictable. You never know, we might have started the way we did and we might finish on a high. That’ll be a chance for us to capitalise,” said Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane.

“There are no easy games, not only for us, but for other teams as well. And that’s why it’s very key for us to find ways of winning games.”

The aggregate winners of each semifinal tie will meet in the final, set to be played on Saturday 5 November at a venue yet to be announced.

MTN8 weekend fixtures

– Semifinal, second legs, aggregate scores in parenthesis

– Times CAT

Saturday 22 October

15:30: Mamelodi Sundowns v Orlando Pirates (0-0)

Sunday 23 October

15:30: AmaZulu v Kaizer Chiefs (1-1)

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