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Football | Telkom Knockout

Gavin Hunt and Johan Neeskens © Gallo Images

All systems go in United, Downs semifinal



Tshwane rivals SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns will fight for a place in the Telkom Knockout final when they meet at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, kick-off at 8:15pm CAT (SA, GMT+2). Live on SS4, SSHD4 and supersport.com

SuperSport and Sundowns have met in 10 official cup matches since 1990. The record is almost dead even between the teams, as each has five wins to their name. United have scored two more goals (15 to 13).

The teams’ last cup meeting was in the final of the Nedbank Cup last season, when goals from Thabo September and Kermit Erasmus saw Matsatsantsa to a 2-0 victory.

This will be the first meeting of the teams in the Telkom Knockout, as all 10 of their previous cup matches have been in the Top Eight (currently known as the MTN8) and the National Cup (currently known as the Nedbank Cup).

Overall, United and ‘Downs have met in 53 league and cup matches. The Brazilians have claimed 25 wins compared to 18 for Matsatsantsa, while there have been 10 draws.

‘Downs have a favourable away record in matches against their Pretoria rivals, claiming 14 wins (compared to just six for SuperSport) from 25 matches, while outscoring their hosts 42 goals to 28.

The teams have already met once this season, playing to a goalless draw in a league game in late September.

SuperSport have reached this stage of the competition thanks to a penalty shootout victory over Ajax Cape Town and a 2-0 win over Maritzburg United in the last 16 and quarterfinals respectively.

Reaching the semifinal is United’s best showing in the Telkom Knockout since the tournament’s inception in 2006.

Overall, The Pretoria side has played 11 matches in the Telkom Knockout, recording five wins, three draws and four losses. They have lost two and won one of the three penalty shootouts they have been involved in.

The Pretoria side reached the final of this competition in 2004/05 and 2005/06 when it was known as the Coca-Cola Cup. They lost to Kaizer Chiefs and Jomo Cosmos respectively.

Sundowns have reached this stage of the competition thanks to outright wins over University of Pretoria (1-0) and AmaZulu (2-0) in the last 16 and quarterfinals respectively.

The Brazilians’ best showing in the Telkom Knockout since its inception in 2006 is reaching the final in 2007/08, where they lost on penalties to Kaizer Chiefs. A win in this semi will see them match that feat.

Overall, the Tshwane side has played 15 matches in the Telkom Knockout, recording nine wins, two draws and four losses. They have lost both of the penalty shootouts they have been involved with.

Sundowns are two-time previous winners of this competition, lifting the John Player Special Knockout Cup in 1990 and the Rothmans Cup in 1999. They have appeared in five finals down the years.

SuperSport come into this match having suffered their first league defeat of the season this past weekend, going down 2-1 at home to Kaizer Chiefs.

SuperSport’s line-up from their 2-1 loss to Chiefs: Williams, Nkausu, Diouf, Fransman, Thwala, Doutie (Cale 70’), September, Mdluli, Erasmus, Zuma (Paulse 75’), Nyondo (Nkoana 52’).

Sundowns continued their lengthy winless streak in the league when they drew 1-1 away to University of Pretoria on Saturday.

Sundowns’ line-up from their 1-1 draw with Tuks: Sandilands, Mampuru, Daniels, Schut (Sangweni 73’), Masenamela, Shongwe (Nyatama 74’), Moriri, Modise, Pelembe (Mushekwi 69’), Rodgers, Laffor.

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