Cup win would be a bonus — Khumalo

2013-05-24 00:00

TOMORROW’S Nedbank Cup final at Moses Mabhida Stadium is a massive opportunity for both Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United to make 2012/13 a season to remember.

Chiefs are chasing a rare league/cup double after being crowned PSL champions, while SuperSport have been dominant in cup football all season but failed to go all the way.

Defeat in the final of the MTN 8 was followed by a semi-final exit from the Telkom Knockout and, more recently, SuperSport saw their CAF Confederation Cup hopes dashed at the second round stage. A disappointing league season that saw SuperSport stutter to sixth place on the log with no fewer than 17 draws from their 30 matches has left coach Gavin Hunt desperate to become the first man to coach a team to back-to-back Nedbank Cup titles.

“As defending champions we are desperate to keep this trophy,” SuperSport assistant coach Kaitano Tembo said at a Moses Mabhida press conference yesterday. “The fact that we have done well in the cups shows our will to succeed in every competition. We will not be approaching this game any differently; we prepare the same for all games.”

Where Chiefs have used quick and controlled attacks to become South Africa’s best team this year, SuperSport have relied on their discipline in defence to bring about what little success they have had this season.

“We probably don’t have the most talented players, but they all have a good work ethic and a strong mentality,” added Tembo. “For us, it doesn’t matter who scores, because we work together as a team.”

But while SuperSport may be playing the “underdog” card, the Chiefs camp are all too aware that tomorrow’s final could go either way.

“They [SuperSport] are not an easy team to play against. They have good individuals who have the ability to change a game and Gavin [Hunt] has done well to turn them into one of the top teams in the country,” said Chiefs assistant coach Doctor Khumalo.

For Khumalo, winning tomorrow’s clash would be “the cherry on the top” of what he calls a bonus season for Chiefs.

“When Stuart [Baxter, coach] took over the plan was always to the future; to assemble a group of players that could take this club back to their glory days,” said Khumalo.

“Winning the league was a bonus and we will do everything we can to win the trophy for our supporters tomorrow, but the future is still the most important thing for us.”

Chiefs are without Jimmy Tau, Jimmy Jambo [both injured] and striker Kingston Nkhata, who is suspended, while SuperSport will be without former Maritzburg United defender Mor Diouf [knee], Roscoe Pietersen and Thabo September.

Around 51 000 spectators are expected to attend the match at the Moses Mabhida stadium.

Kick-off is at 3 pm and the match will be televised on SuperSport Four.

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