United win Nedbank

2012-05-26 19:59

Coach Gavin Hunt scoops his maiden Cup after SuperSport beat Mamelodi Sundowns

SuperSport United claimed all the Tshwane Derby bragging rights when they reigned supreme over neighbours Mamelodi Sundowns to lift their maiden Nedbank Cup yesterday.

United have been a dominant force of the two Tshwane sides, with three consecutive league championships, and winning the Nedbank underpinned their dominance.

Matsatsantsa claimed a victory over The Brazilians in a league game, effectively ending the mega-rich club’s title hopes.

Finishing their fourth successive season without silverware won’t go down well with trigger-happy club president Patrice Motsepe, who is not shy about showing his frustrations with coaches who don’t win.

After a season that earlier promised so much, it is rather surprising that Downs finished with nothing to show for their efforts.

Those late nights meetings at Motsepe’s house will not come to an end as he will be seeking answers from coach Johan Neeskens and his technical team after yet another disappointing outing.

On the other hand, Gavin Hunt would have been happy about breaking his cup duck after claiming his first competition since he moved to United five seasons ago, having last won his last cup in 2004.

His celebrations for each goal scored, and the sound of the final whistle from referee Gabriel Sokopo, said it all.

You cannot blame him for that though, as winning this trophy underlined his coaching credentials.

When Kermit Erasmus netted the second goal on the hour mark, the writing was already on the wall for Bafana Ba’style.

Downs were left paralysed by Clayton Daniels’ sending off in the first half and although they played much better after the 18th minute red card, it was not just their day.

Even before Daniels was sent off, United were already ahead with ball possession and attempts at goals. Sibusiso Zuma had already tried his luck at goals only for Wayne Sandilands to stop his shot.

But what followed the sending off was United’s total dominance, to which Downs had no answers.

Firstly, Tebogo Langerman’s free kick on the edge of the box where Daniels had brought down Erasmus shaved the upright.

But something had to give and Thabo September said thank you very much when he found himself unmarked at the far post from Sameegh Doutie’s corner in the 40th minute.

United never looked back from then, as they searched for an insurance goal that they got from Erasmus’ goal.

Before the final, United captain Morgan Gould, who was playing his last game for the club as he is reportedly moving to Kaizer Chiefs, spoke of the importance of finishing on a high and the Bafana Bafana defender and September were uncompromising at the back.

Gould could not have asked for a better sendoff than by lifting the trophy for United.

As for Sundowns, another trophy-less season could mean trouble for some of the highly-paid stars and perhaps even Neeskens.

The bad omen that has been linked with Teko Modise continued to follow him. All clubs that he has played for – from SuperSport to Orlando Pirates – have gone through a dry patch only to lift trophies once he departs.
 
History was also made in the final when Baaitsi Manca became the first woman official to handle a cup final and she did not disappoint.

Well done to her!

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