Sundowns and TTM battle for Ke Yona final spot

Mamelodi Sundowns will face off with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) in the Nedbank Cup semi-final match at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 3:00 pm CAT.

Masandawana's hopes of successfully defending this tournament are on track after thumping Orlando Pirates 4-1 in an enthralling quarter-final match in Tshwane on Thursday.

The Tshwane giants started their title defence with a 3-2 win over Stellenbosch FC after extra-time on February 3, before hammering GladAfrica Championship side Polokwane City 4-0 on March 10.

Manoqba Mngqithi, the Sundowns head coach, urged TTM to at least try to give it their all against his well-oiled Masandawana side which is undefeated in the DStv Premiership this season.

“If I were them I would take the game to Sundowns because we have nothing to lose and I think their coaches are aware that when they are playing Sundowns they have to give it their best shot," Mngqithi said.

"The best advice I can give to any team at this stage is, why sit back? I would decide to go toe-to-toe with Sundowns and maybe there is something one can get from that because when sitting back.

"You concede goals without playing and it does not help the image of the club. It is a cup match for that matter, they know they’ve got nothing to lose."

Meanwhile, Tshakhuma booked their place in the semi-finals after securing a 2-0 win over Black Leopards in a quarter-final match in Thohoyandou on April 14.

Prior to that, Vhadau Vha Damani had stunned SuperSport United 1-0 on February 4, before defeating Swallows FC 4-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw on February 26.

Mpho Maleka, the Tshakhuma co-coach, hopes Tokelo Rantie brings his A-game against his former side, Sundowns after the 30-year-old striker grabbed an assist in TTM's 2-0 win over TS Galaxy on April 10.

“We always applaud our fitness trainer [Matthews Meso] as he has been pushing him. Even Rantie, he wanted to do more, and for us to give him a run at the start of a match," Maleka said.

"It was based on a game plan. He gave his best and we appreciate his efforts, and we hope he continues and puts more effort in the coming matches. For him to create a goal, I also believe that will encourage him to do more.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Mamelodi Sundowns:

Themba Zwane: The quality attacking midfielder was in top form against Pirates as he grabbed a goal and an assist. Zwane will be hoping to continue his good form against Tshakhuma and inspire Masandawana to their 11th Nedbank Cup final.

Peter Shalulile: The in-form centre forward looks unstoppable at the moment having also grabbed a goal and an assist against Pirates. Shalulile will be eager to help his side overcome TTM as he targets his maiden major trophy in South African football.

Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila:

Thabo Rakhale: The experienced winger, who played in two Nedbank Cup finals with Orlando Pirates, netted his second goal of the season against Galaxy. Rakhale will be looking to play a vital role in helping Tshakhuma reach their maiden Nedbank Cup final.

Thabo Mnyamane: The left-footed attacker has been very influential for Tshakhuma in the Nedbank Cup having netted two goals from three matches and he also grabbed an assist against Galaxy. Mnyamane has the ability to inspire TTM to a win over Sundowns.

In head-to-head record, Sundowns and Tshakhuma have met twice across all competitions.

The two teams drew 0-0 in Tshwane in a DStv Premiership match in October 2020, before Sundowns secured a 2-0 victory in a second round clash in Polokwane on April 6.