Telkom Cup offers no easy ride

2016-10-12 06:00

THE two Free State premier clubs, Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars, have been pitted against tough opponents in this year’s Telkom Cup. Conducted last Thursday (06/10), the draw saw Celtic pulled to play Cape Town City away and Ea Lla Koto at home to Bidvest Wits. Both the Free State teams have won the tournament once. Stars clinched it in 1994 while under their previous sponsor (Coca-Cola Cup), while Phunya Sele Sele clinched it in 2012 under the current name. Ea Lla Koto beat now defunct Cape Town Hellenic 3-2 in the final played in Bloemfontein and was the Bethlehem-based outfit’s first major trophy in the premier division. Stars are yet to win a major cup in the elite division since their return in 2006.

Celtic narrowly beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in the final in Durban to lift the trophy. The two Free State teams, as with other clubs, will be striving to dethrone current champions Sundowns when the competition starts on 19 October. The defending champions have been drawn against lacklustre Polokwane City. An additional round of 16 matches of the tournament are scheduled to be played during the weekend of 22 and 23 October. This year’s winner is guaranteed R4 million in prize money.

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