Two matches take place in DStv Premiership action on Wednesday evening as Cape Town City tackle SuperSport United and Golden Arrows clash with Sekhukhune United

Cape Town City FC v SuperSport United

SuperSport United and Cape Town City FC will lock horns for the second time in a week when they meet in DStv Premiership action at Cape Town Stadium.

The sides battled it out in the Nedbank Cup Round of 32 as SuperSport prevailed 3-1 in a tense and gripping penalty shootout on Tuesday last week. 

This time they collide with their sights firmly fixed on second spot and CAF Champions League football. City will be all the more motivated considering their chances of gaining CAF Champions League qualification through winning the Nedbank Cup are now dashed.

The sides are locked on 30 points from 17 matches with City second by virtue of a superior goal difference. Sundowns are a further nine points ahead with two games in hand.

City coach Eric Tinkler was disappointed that his side conceded in the way they did to Shandre Campbell in the Nedbank Cup clash as it came from a flick-on and defending against direct football is what the team have been practising ahead of facing Matsatsantsa twice in a week.

“SuperSport are always a team that is difficult, especially under coach Gavin Hunt. The brand of football they play is very direct. They play with a lot of aggression and a lot of intensity. Winning the second ball is extremely important.

“You have to deal with a lot of crosses that are coming into the box. And we made the players aware that we have to deal with that.

“We didn’t do it in the first half in particular and the goal came from that. Disappointed because it is something we spoke about, we worked on and we knew and to concede like that,” said Tinkler.

SuperSport played to a 1-1 draw with Egyptian outfit in CAF Confederation Cup action on Saturday but Hunt has now fixed his gaze on City, whom he considers to be Matsatsantsa’s biggest rivals in the league.

“I like the CAF experience… It helped us (SuperSport) for the first time and at [now defunct Bidvest] Wits. You bring in young players through and they get experience. You will be better in the league.

“We will be much better, and the league should be the focus for us. Last year, we came third [in the league] for the first time in how many years… We have a big game on Wednesday in Cape Town against Cape Town City, who are our biggest direct rivals in terms of points,” said Hunt.

Golden Arrows v Sekhukhune United

In the night’s other DStv Premiership action, Golden Arrows and Sekhukhune United meet in a battle for the top ten on the standings at the Mpumalanga Stadium.

Arrows are winless in their last five meaning their last win came in December 2023. Morale in the camp has also been dampened by their Nedbank Cup exit to TS Galaxy at the weekend.

Sekhukhune have fared better in recent times with three victories from their last five. Babina Noko scraped past Highlands Park in the Nedbank Cup on penalties before playing to a 0-0 draw with Moroccan side RSB Berkane in CAF Confederation Cup action on Sunday.

Abafana Bes’thende occupy ninth position while Sekhukhune are in 11th. There is a two-point difference between the sides. However, Sekhukhune have a game in hand. 

Arrows coach Mabhuti Khenyeza said that the side would learn from their winless streak and become better players as a result.

“This is the only way to gain experience because where can you buy experience in football?” said Khenyeza

“The situations like these are the ones that give you experience as a player and as a coach. If you can look at other top coaches even abroad, they had many experiences early in their careers.

“They didn’t just become top coaches [overnight]. Everyone talks about Pep Guardiola. Just go back now and look at how he started at Barcelona, I think he lost about six games in a row.

“Others know him only now as he’s winning. What I’m trying to say is, we embrace the situation like this, from me to the players. This experience will build me as a young coach and other players who are young because whenever we get successful and we will look back, we’ll be happy.”