Birds, United battle for MTN8 crown
Moroka Swallows and SuperSport United will contest the 2012 MTN8 final at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday, kick-off at 8:15pm CAT (SA, GMT+2). Live on SS4, SS4HD and supersport.com, build-up starts at 7:30 pm.
Swallows have eliminated AmaZulu (2-0) and Mamelodi Sundowns (6-5 on aggregate) en route to the final, with Lerato Chabangu the leading scorer in the competition thanks to his three goals.
SuperSport defeated Free State Stars (2-1) and outgoing MTN8 champions Orlando Pirates (3-0 on aggregate) on their road to the final, with five different players all scoring a goal apiece.
The Soweto side come into the final having suffered a 3-2 home defeat to top flight rookies University of Pretoria in a league game last Friday night.
United, in contrast, racked up their first win of the league season last Saturday, beating bottom-of-the-log AmaZulu 3-0 in Polokwane.
This will be the Birds’ eighth appearance in a Top Eight Cup final and the second in the MTN8 era (2008/09 to present). They are chasing their third title in the competition, having won in 1975 and 1979.
Swallows were last in a Top Eight/MTN8 final in 2010 when they lost out on penalties to Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates.
This will be Matsatsantsa’s fourth appearance in a Top Eight Cup final. They reached the final a competition record three successive times in 2004, 2005 and 2006, though they only lifted the trophy on the first occasion.
SuperSport’s last appearance in the Top Eight Cup final in 2005 saw them fall to a 1-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs.
The teams have met in just six official cup matches, dating back as far as 1994. Each side has two wins against one another and there have been two draws.
The last three cup games between the teams have all come in the Top Eight. SuperSport defeated Swallows 3-1 and 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2005 and 2007 SAA Supa8 respectively, but the Birds eliminated their Pretoria counterparts on penalties in the quarterfinals of the 2010 MTN8 after a 2-2 draw.
The overall record between the teams favours Matsatsantsa. In 49 league and cup meetings since 1990, they have claimed 19 wins compared to 15 for Swallows, and outscored their opponents 63 goals to 56.
SuperSport have an excellent recent record against the Birds, having not lost outright to them in the teams’ last 14 league and cup fixtures (this does include the 2-2 draw in the 2010 MTN8 from which Swallows advanced after winning the penalty shootout).