Our football writer previews the MTN8 semifinals second leg clashes which kick off on Saturday and Sunday the 1st and 2nd of September 2018.
Second legs of two-legged encounters are very exciting because you already know what each team needs to do to progress to the next stage of the competition and this weekend’s MTN8 action will be no exception.
Kaizer Chiefs managed to come back from 2-1 down to salvage a 2-2 draw at SuperSport United, which means Matsatsantsa are now chasing the game. Elsewhere, Mamelodi Sundowns couldn’t hold their own at Cape Town City where they were beaten 1-0 in a one-sided encounter.
Can home ground advantage help the Brazilians overturn the score? Which two teams will go through to the final?
Saturday 1 September
Kaizer Chiefs 9/10
SuperSport United 3/1
The first leg was a thrill-packed encounter which ended in a 2-2 draw which puts Kaizer Chiefs on the front foot. However, they can’t overly on the two away goals because complacency might creep in. Last week, coach Solinas gave Bongolwethu Jayiya a chance but he failed to make his presence felt and I foresee him being benched for the second leg especially if newly-signed Lebogang Manyama is available for selection.
The only thing I don’t understand from Chiefs’ midfield point of view is Siphelele Ntshangase being asked to play in a deeper role as his defensive ineptitudes are well known. I hope Johannesburg-based Chiefs fans come out in numbers for a change as attendance figures have been poor in recent weeks.
In terms of their record so far this season, Kaizer Chiefs have played six competitive matches, winning once, losing once and drawing the rest. Their counter-attacking tactics seemed to work last week as they caught SuperSport on transition a couple of times but they didn’t utilise most opportunities they created.
SuperSport United need nothing less than a victory or a high scoring draw to progress to the ultimate stage of the competition. Man of the Match award winner in the first leg, Bradley Grobler, had the game of his life, netting a brace and getting a couple more shots on target and Amakhosi have got to be wary of him at the FNB Stadium.
Defensively, SuperSport need to improve when it comes to dealing with counter attacks as they nearly got caught a couple of times last week, but Chiefs weren’t clinical enough in front of goal or forwards wouldn’t connect with the final pass.
Former Bidvest Wits midfielder, Phumlani Ntshangase played in defence, and alongside Aubrey Modiba, did well in terms of helping the team with pace as the two centre-backs, Clayton Daniels and Bongani Khumalo are slow. Kaizer Chiefs will be looking to avoid a penalty shootout at all costs as Ronwen Williams is arguably the best in the country when it comes to saving those. This will be a thrill-packed encounter which I foresee ending in a score draw with Kaizer Chiefs going through – just be brave and say 1-1.
Sunday 2 September
Mamelodi Sundowns 6/10
Cape Town City 9/2
Cape Town City are pretty much in the driving seat in this encounter as they take a 1-0 lead to Lucas Masterpieces Moripe Stadium to take on a Sundowns team which has endured a heavy workload in recent weeks. Pitso Mosimane had to put out a second-string team last week which had no answers to questions posed by the Citizens in Cape Town.
I’m expecting the Brazilians to be a bit stronger at home as they’ll have gotten the must-win CAF Champions League clash against Horoya AC out of the way. The fact that they won’t have to travel as they play back-to-back matches at home will also help their cause.
In terms of permutations, Sundowns have to win by two or more goals to go through. A 1-0 win would mean they’ve reversed the score and the match will be decided on penalties as there will be no extra time.
The visitors, who are already leading, need just one goal which would mean Sundowns need to win by three or more goals. The team played attacking football in Cape Town and had they been more clinical, they’d have won the first leg convincingly. On this occasion, they’re playing Sundowns’ first team and they need to work twice as hard.
City have now defeated Sundowns four times out of six meetings and the other two were won by the Brazilians. There’s been no draws in matches between these two sides and all matches were decided by a one-goal margin. I’m expecting the trend to continue hence why I’m putting my money on a narrow victory for Sundowns.
DOUBLE @ 4/1
Chiefs vs SuperSport Draw 21/10
Sundowns Win 6/10
Written by Benedict Ngwenya