Highlands Park vs SuperSport United Preview


Orlando Stadium will be jam-packed on Saturday as the most lucrative knockout competition decider takes place! Highlands Park have not disappointed since gaining promotion to the elite league at the start of last season, finishing seventh on the table and now gunning for glory against the so-called South African cup kings. Will Peter Shalulile and Mothobi Mvala outscore Bradley Grobler and Thamsanqa Gabuza? Let’s find out.

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MTN8 Final 
Highlands Park vs SuperSport United   
Saturday 05 October 
Orlando Stadium 
18:00


To Win (90 Mins)
Highlands Park 24/10
Draw 37/20
SuperSport 13/10

To Lift Cup
Highlands Park 14/10

SuperSport United 11/20

Highlands Park

The Lions of the North are playing their first cup final in the Premier Soccer League era and Owen Da Gam should be applauded for the great job he has done in terms of transforming them from being an NFD team to being one of the best sides to watch in the top tier. There isn’t too much pressure on them to win as they carry the underdog tag.

To reach this stage of the competition, they had to eliminate Orlando Pirates in the quarter-finals and oust Polokwane City in a two-legged semi-final without conceding a single goal in regulation time in the process. It is also interesting to note that they have only scored one goal in those three games despite boasting one of the best attacks in the league.

The dangermen they will look to for goals include Wayde Jooste, Mothobi Mvala, Tendai Ndoro and Peter Shalulile. Speaking of Shalulile, he is currently the Absa Premiership’s leading goalscorer with six goals in six games. Da Gama will hope his talisman produces the goods on the day!

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SuperSport United

This has been Matsatsantsa’s favourite cup competition in recent years as they head into their third consecutive final! In the last two deciders, they met Cape Town City where they won one and lost one. Their passage into this final has been through some tough opponents like Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits.

The twin strikers in Thamsanqa Gabuza and Bradley Grobler have been sending shivers down the spines of opponents as they have been finding the back of the net at will. Grobler has six goals across all competitions so far this season and his heroics have seen him being crowned the best player in the domestic league for the month of September.

Gabuza scored a brace against Wits and netted in the first leg encounter against Sundowns. In midfield, the Pretoria-based team boasts the likes of Dean Furman, Sipho Mbule and Teboho Mokoena who form a solid combination. They also have an experienced centre back pairing of Clayton Daniels and Bongani Khumalo which has been so impressive in this competition. If the match goes to penalties, they can always count on Ronwen Williams to keep the opponents at bay.

Probable line-ups:

Highlands Park: 4-4-2

Ngobeni; Munyai, Rae, Mokoena, Williams; Mbhele, Mbatha, Mvala, Mahlangu; Shalulile, Ramagalela

SuperSport United: 4-4-2

Williams; Nhlapho, Daniels, Khumalo, Bhasera; Furman, Mokoena, Mbule Modiba; Grobler, Gabuza.


Prediction: Draw (37/20)

This will be a thrill-packed encounter and I expect SuperSport to defend deep due to their ageing centre-backs, who do so well in a low defensive block but can be found wanting in counter attack situations. Gabuza’s hold-up play will be used as an outlet when they knock the ball upfield where he is expected to bring the midfielders and other attackers into play. Highlands Park will do most of the attacking but they can’t naively leave themselves open at the back as they know the danger their opponents pose. I think they will cancel each other out and penalties will decide the outcome.

Written by Benedict Ngwenya

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