Some key facts ahead of the 2016 Telkom Knockout final between SuperSport United and Cape Town City
Posted: 10 December 2016 Time: 13:44
Some facts and figure to digest ahead of this evening's Telkom Knockout final between SuperSport United and Cape Town City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Cape Town City are comfortably the leading scorers in this year’s Telkom Knockout competition with 10 goals in their three matches to day.
Remarkably, only one SuperSport United player has scored in this year’s Telkom Knockout so far – Thabo Mnyamane in the 1-0 semifinal victory over Orlando Pirates. They scraped past Ajax Cape Town in the Last 16 thanks to an Eric Chipeta own goal, and played to a 0-0 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinals.
SuperSport are appearing in their fourth final of the Telkom Knockout competition, and their second in three years. They defeated Platinum Stars 3-2 to lift the trophy in in 2014, but suffered defeats to Kaizer Chiefs (1-0 in 2004) and Jomo Cosmos (4-1 on penalties after 1-1 draw in 2005) in their other final appearances.
SuperSport coach Stuart Baxter has never lifted the Telkom Knockout trophy before, the only competition he has yet to win in South African football. This will be his first final appearance in the tournament. He has won two league titles, the Nedbank Cup (2013) and the MTN8 (2014).
City coach Eric Tinkler is appearing in his third cup final and will be hoping for a change in fortunes. He led Orlando Pirates to the 2015 African Champions League and 2016 Nedbank Cup deciders, but lost both. In the Nedbank Cup he was beaten by Stuart Baxter’s SuperSport side.
SuperSport have played in 13 cup finals in their history and have won six of those, losing the other seven. Their most recent final was the Nedbank Cup in May this year when they beat Pirates 3-2.
City have a number of players in their squad who used to turn out for SuperSport or came through the club’s heralded development system: defenders Tsepo Gumede, Vincent Kobola, Thato Mokeke, and midfielder Lebogang Manyama.
Despite being newly-formed this season, there is a former City player in the SuperSport squad, versatile utility player Aubrey Modiba, who joined the club in the last transfer window.
City are on a club-record run of eight games unbeaten in all competitions, with seven of those having been won. In that time they have scored an impressive 22 goals and conceded 11.
Their unbeaten run includes victories over title contenders Mamelodi Sundowns (2-1, away) and BidVest Wits (3-2, away), as well as a draw at Kaizer Chiefs (1-1). They have scored three or more goals in four (50%) of those games.
City’s last defeat was a surprise 2-1 home loss to Baroka FC in the League on October 15. They would later get revenge with a 4-3 extra time success in the quarterfinals of the Telkom Knockout.
City’s top-scorer this season is skipper Lebogang Manyama, who is having easily is best campaign in terms of goals. Manyama has netted eight goals (two penalties) in all competitions, including five in his last five matches. It is already the best return of his career, surpassing the six goals he scored for Ajax Cape Town in the 2011/12 season.
SuperSport are unbeaten in their last 14 games (W7, D7), their best set of results since a 16-game unbeaten run (including African Confederation Cup) during the 2012/13 season.
SuperSport’s lost their first two games of the season, but since then have not lost. Their last defeat came in the quarterfinals of the MTN8 against Mamelodi Sundowns (1-3) on August 28.
SuperSport’s leading scorer this season is young forward Thabo Mnyamane with five goals, including four in his last five games. In that run is goals against Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and BidVest Wits, a hefty trio.
SuperSport have played in 51 matches in the Telkom Knockout competition since the formation of the Premier Soccer League in 1996. They have won 26 of those, drawn eight and lost 17. They have outscored their opponents 67-56.
City have won all three of their previous Telkom Knockout matches, scoring 10 goals in the process. They have conceded four times in that run.
Since Telkom took over their sponsorship of the tournament in 2006, there have been seven different winners – Kaizer Chiefs (three titles), Platinum Stars (two), Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates, Bloemfontein Celtic, SuperSport and Mamelodi Sundowns. City would become the eighth if they triumph.