MTN8 final a battle of the coaches

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on the brink 
Steve Komphela is hoping to break his duck in cup competitions 
PHOTO: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix
on the brink Steve Komphela is hoping to break his duck in cup competitions PHOTO: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

Coaches Roger De Sá and Steve Komphela have poor cup records.

De Sá won only one of the six finals he has been in while Komphela is yet to conquer one. The latter has only previously reached one final in his career.

He will get the opportunity to finally win Kaizer Chiefs’ supporters hearts on Saturday. Winning the MTN8 Cup will go a long way towards entrenching his status as a coach they can believe in.

With the daggers already out for him since news broke that erstwhile coach Stuart Baxter was back on the market, Komphela is under pressure to prove to his detractors that he is up to the challenge.

He will have to do so against a determined De Sá, who is aiming to win it with Ajax Cape Town.

After missing out on the same trophy while with Orlando Pirates three seasons ago, De Sá would like to prove he can shake the MTN8 monkey off his back, especially after also missing out on the Nedbank Cup at the end of last season.

Ajax go to the same venue – the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium – where they fell to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final.

It is the same venue where Chiefs clinched their Absa Premiership title when they beat Chippa United in May.

This game will see youth coming up against experience as Ajax pit their strength against the experienced Amakhosi, who are known for their cup pedigree.

But previous cup history counts for nothing in finals, as it is a once-off opportunity for players to win something.

Ajax will be looking to make it a hat-trick of victories over Gauteng sides after having knocked out Pirates and Bidvest Wits.

Chiefs will want to emulate Pirates by becoming only the second club to defend the title. Pirates won it in 2010 and defended it the following year.

Games between these two sides are hard to call, and this one will be no different, as both sides will want to cash in on the R8 million first prize.

While much of the focus will be on Komphela and De Sá, the players will have to step up to the plate and do the job.

Expect a duel between lanky striker Nathan Paulse and defender Siyanda Xulu, as well as an intense midfield battle between Ndiviwe Mdabuka and Reneilwe Letsholonyane

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