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Football | MTN8

Siyabong Nomvethe © Gallo Images

Bhele boost for Birds ahead of final



Siyabonga Nomvethe has been given the all clear to face SuperSport United in the MTN8 final for Moroka Swallows.

The veteran striker has been sidelined for the past three weeks after he picked up a toe injury which forced him to withdraw from Gordon Igesund’s Bafana Bafana squad which faced Brazil and Mozambique.

Fortunately for the Birds his return to action was confirmed by Swallows' medical chief Dr Ephraim Nematswerani.

"Bhele is starting to train today (yesterday); he is no longer feeling any pain. He has passed the medical assessment with flying colours.

"He will also be available for the final on Saturday. Everybody in the team is happy to have him back. The man has massive experience."

The final will take place on Saturday evening at Orlando Stadium.

2012 MTN8 FINAL IN NUMBERS

1 – This MTN8 final will be the first time that Moroka Swallows and SuperSport United are meeting in a major cup final.

3 – There have been three red cards in the 2012 MTN8, all of them in the two legs of the semifinal between SuperSport United and Orland Pirates: Edwin Gyimah, Rooi Mahamutsa and Benni McCarthy.

4 – This will be SuperSport United’s fourth appearance in a Top Eight Cup final. Their three previous finals were in consecutive years between 2004 and 2006, a competition record.

7 – This will be the seventh official cup meeting between Swallows and United since their first back in 1994. Each side has two wins to their name and there have been two draws, one of which went to a penalty shootout and was won by the Birds.

8 – This will be Moroka Swallows’ eighth appearance in a Top Eight Cup final. Their seven previous finals were in 1974, 1975, 1979, 1982, 1984, 2003 and 2010.

14 – The Birds have not managed an outright win over Matsatsantsa in the teams’ last 14 official league and cup meetings, though they did knock the Pretoria side out of the 2010 MTN8 at the quarterfinal stage on penalties.

20 – There have been 20 different goal scorers in the 2012 MTN8 so far, with Lerato Chagangu leading the way with three goals.

25 – The number of goals scored in the 2012 MTN8 up to the final, at an average of 3.13 per match.

33 – The number of years since Swallows last won the Top Eight Cup. The Soweto side first won the title in 1975 and their second and most recent success in the competition came in 1979.

119 – In 49 official league and cup matches between Swallows and SuperSport United since 1990, the teams have produced a cumulative total of 119 goals at an average of 2.43 per match.

2004 – The year in which SuperSport won their first and only Top Eight Cup, defeating Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in the final.

40 000 – The seating capacity of Orlando Stadium, the venue for the 2012 MTN8 final. The venue also hosted the 2009 MTN8 final in which Golden Arrows defeated Ajax Cape Town 6-0.

8 000 000 – The prize money in South African Rand for the winners of the MTN8.

Source: MTN Football



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