SportPesa ambassador, Doctor Khumalo congratulated both MTN8 finalists, Highlands Park and SuperSport United. Both teams have shown that the PSL is more than a three-horse battle and that any team has a chance to win silverware and experience success when things are done correctly.
“On the MTN8, I must start this week’s column by congratulating both Highlands Park and SuperSport United for making it through to the MTN8 final, to be played next weekend. This promises to be an exciting clash at Orlando Stadium and I hope people will come out in their numbers to support these two deserving teams. Who would have predicted that Highlands would be in the final? Yes, SuperSport have made a name for themselves, reaching cup finals, especially in this tournament as this is the third time in a row that they are playing in the final of the MTN8. These two teams go to show just how much our game has improved over the years. Last season we were celebrating Baroka FC winning the Telkom Knockout, a feat that no one would have expected or even bet on, but it happened.
“Highlands are now giving motivation to the other unfancied team to say, ‘If we can do it, so can you.’ Taking nothing away from SuperSport, as they’ve been to more cup finals than Highlands and, as I mentioned, even made a name for themselves as Cup Specialists. This is going to be a big game for coach Owen da Gama’s boys. This isn’t going to be an easy game for either side and I really can’t wait to see what happens on the day. Coach Owen and Kaitano Tembo will be cancelling each other out in search of this piece of silverware. Remember, this is an opportunity to get their hands on a trophy and the R8m prize money so early in the season. Winning this trophy sets the tone and will surely go a long way in motivating the winners to go for another trophy or two, as winning becomes a habit.
“Having said that, reaching a cup final comes with a lot of pressure and it starts from the day you qualify, as the coach has a lot to deal with. The upcoming final has a way of interrupting your performances in the league games ahead of the much-anticipated final. That’s partly because every player wants to see himself in the team that will be playing the final. That means the focus shifts more towards the final instead of dealing with the next game and building the momentum to the final. On the other hand, both teams can’t afford to risk seeing themselves slip away from the chasing pack. They’re only separated by goal difference with SuperSport at number seven while Highlands close the Top Eight door.
“I know both teams are in good hands because they are led by coaches who know how to plan and how to handle situations like this. I want to congratulate both coaches, their technical teams and players for a wonderful job so far. It hasn’t been easy at all, but they managed to pull through. We have to give them credit for their wonderful achievement and wish them well in the final. Anything is possible in this game and only if you work hard and dedicate yourself to your craft are you going to achieve your goals. Benni McCarthy is a prime example of a coach who won his first trophy since taking charge of Cape Town City and it goes to show that dreams do come true when you work hard on them,” Doc added.