Pretoria rivals SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns will bring their derby match to Soweto’s Orlando Stadium for the 2012 Nedbank Cup final.
|Xulu and Zuma © Backpagepix
The teams have had contrasting paths to this stage of the competition, with SuperSport narrowly progressing beyond the likes of Batau FC, United FC and Jomo Cosmos before really hitting their stride with a 3-0 defeat of AmaZulu in the semifinals earlier this month.
Sundowns, in contrast, began with a record 24-0 win over Powerlines FC in the first round and have steadily picked off their opponents ever since, hardly getting out of second gear to beat Bidvest Wits, Maritzburg United and Free State Stars all by the same score line: 2-0.
Now the heated rivals will renew their cup rivalry with a first-ever meeting in a final. The teams have played out nine cup matches against one another, with the Brazilians leading 5-4 in the wins column.
The pair last met in a cup competition in the 2008/09 MTN8, with the two-legged tie ending 4-4 on aggregate, though ‘Downs advanced on the away goals rule. The previous season the Brazilians eliminated United from the first round of the Nedbank Cup 2-1 – the teams’ only meeting in the competition since Nedbank became title sponsors in 2008.
Overall, Sundowns and SuperSport have met in 51 matches across all competitions. The Brazilians have 25 wins compared to 17 for Matsatsantsa, while nine matches have been drawn.
In league action earlier this season, honours were even between the teams after their two matches. Sundowns defeated SuperSport 3-1 in the first half of the campaign, but in the return game played earlier this month Matsatsantsa won 1-0.
The tactical battle between coaches Gavin Hunt (SuperSport) and Johan Neeskens (Sundowns) could be the decisive factor as these two great rivals go in search of the last trophy up for grabs in the 2011/12 season.
Kick-off is at 15h00.