MTN8 Cup has similar value to league – Stars

2014-08-14 14:50

For defending MTN8 Cup champions Platinum Stars, a knockout competition is as important as the league.

This is the view of Stars coach Allan Freese ahead of the first leg of their MTN8 Cup semifinal meeting against Kaizer Chiefs at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.

The game kicks off at 8.15pm.

Freese emphasised that the ideal situation would be to “get a good result at home if we stand a chance of progressing”.

“We are at home and I would like us to win,” said Freese, who eliminated Mamelodi Sundowns in the first round of the R8 million winner-takes-all competition.

Stars started the new Absa Premiership season on a negative note but they bounced back last night with a 2-1 win over Free State Stars.

This was three days after Dikwena’s 2-0 loss to newcomers Chippa United on the opening weekend of the new campaign.

“There is no excuse for the four teams (in the semifinals) to say we had a short time to prepare.”

Freese hinted that his side have an idea what to expect from Chiefs on Saturday.

Stars will again bank on the new acquisition from Pirates – Ndumiso Mabena – to continue with his goal scoring form.

Mabena has banged in three goals in as many matches.

“I am happy that he is scoring and we didn’t change the way he plays.”

Other MTN8 Cup semifinalists Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits meet on Sunday at 3pm.

Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic said his players knew what to expect after the Buccaneers reached four cup finals last season.

His Wits counterpart, Gavin Hunt, said: “It’s good for us to get a big game this time of the season. We’ve got new players who are trying to find their way.”

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