In-Form Grobler Clinches SuperSport's Third MTN8 Title
Result: Highlands Park 0-1 SuperSport United
Date: 05 October 2019
Venue: Orlando Stadium
SuperSport United were crowned MTN8 champions for a second time in three seasons after defeating Highlands Park at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.
Click through the gallery to see images from the MTN8 final.
Matsatsantsa head coach, Kaitano Tembo made only one change from their win over AmaZulu last weekend, with Bradley Grobler returning to the side, while the Lions of the North were unchanged from their victory over Polokwane City.
Highlands almost got an early lead in the fourth minute as Mokete Mogaila raced clear on the right side of the box and delivered a cross inside the box that found Mothobu Mvala, who was denied by a superb reflex save SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams
The game was stretching from end to end after that, but Highlands coach Owen Da Gama was forced to use his first substitution on the half-hour mark after Lesenya Ramoraka got injured and was replaced by Wayde Jooste.
The Lions of the North were unable to make the chances count and were punished in first-half stoppage time as Grobler powered home a header from Teboho Mokoena's cross on the stroke of halftime.
Highlands were fired up early in the second stanza and they should have equalised five minutes into the second stanza after Marks Munyai's cross evaded Williams towards the far post but Spiwe Msimango missed the open net, as his header came off the post.
Da Gama desperately needed the equaliser and brought on experienced striker Tendai Ndoro in place of young forward Mogaila in the 67th minute, and the Zimbabwean nearly levelled matters for Highlands in the last 12 minutes with a screamer from range that missed the top corner by inches.
The game opened up in the latter stages of the half, with Highlands going forward in numbers while SuperSport were looking for chances on counter-attacks.
Mokoena had a chance to double the lead in stoppage time after going through but his low shot was saved by goalkeeper Thela Ngobeni. It did not matter in the end though as Matsatsantsa held on to clinch a 1-0 victory and were crowned champions for a third time.
Here's how they lined up:
Highlands: 42. Ngobeni, 10. Mokoena, 19. Munyai, 23. Msimango, 24. Rae, 20. Ramoraka, 40. Mahlangu, 43. Mbatha, 38. Shalulile, 14. Mvala, 12. Mogaila.
Subs: 1. Heugh, 5. Fransman, 6. Letsholonyane, Hlongwa, 27. Jooste, 17. Motlafi, 7. Ndoro.
SuperSport: 30. Williams, 18. Nhlapo, 16. Modiba, Daniels, 24. Mbule, 20, Kekana, 8. Furman, 28. Mokoena, 13. Gabuza, 19. Rusike, 7. Grobler.
Subs: 33. Pule, 23. Fleurs, 3. Khumalo, 12. Webber, 15. Qalinge, 23. Mnyamane, 11. Mahachi.