SOCCER fans could be treated to a goal feast when free-scoring SuperSport United and Cape Town City clash in the final of the Telkom Knockout at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane tomorrow (6pm).
The two teams have scored the most goals in the Absa Premiership this season. Leaders CT City have netted 18 in 12 matches while second placed Matsatsantsa a Pitori have scored 17.
Both head coaches, United’s Stuart Baxter and CT City’s Eric Tinkler have worked wonders with their clubs since taking charge.
Baxter joined Matsatsantsa at the end of January and won the Nedbank Cup in May. He has rebuilt the squad.
CT City were formed in July when businessman John Comitis bought MP Black Aces’ franchise. Tinkler has been an inspired choice.
The former Orlando Pirates mentor’s approach has seen the club top the league standings and reach a major cup final in less than five months of coming into existence.
Both coaches reckon they are the underdogs. Baxter said City would start as favourites but Tinkler disagrees: “SuperSport are unbeaten in 14 games, we have only gone nine unbeaten. They are the favourites.”
Tinkler is positive: “We know we can score. We are playing good football and have nothing to lose. We are confident and have self-belief. So we will go for it.”
Tinkler, who lost to United in the Nedbank Cup final when he was in charge of Bucs, said this was a whole new ball game: “This game will be won by the team willing to take their chances.”
City will be minus veteran striker Lehlohonolo Majoro, who has a thigh muscle tear. But Tinkler has other star performers in captain Lebogang Manyama, Bhongelethu Jajiya, Judas Moseamedi and Australian midfielder Matthew Sim.
The man who gave Tinkler nightmares in the Nedbank Cup final is defender Michael Boxall, who scored in that 3-2 win. New Zealander Boxall is looking forward to his second SA cup final: “I can’t promise to score but it does not matter who scores. We’ll take an own goal if it helps us win.”
Boxall and compatriot Jeremy Brockie have added incentive: “There is no way Jeremy and I will let an Aussie (Sim) beat us in a final. We want to end the year on a high.”
United winger Thuso Phala is confident: “Spirits are high. We like to play an open game, I just hope we take our chances. CT City will the have fresher legs.”