Gert Schalkwyk looks back at the 2008 MTN8 final between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns
Posted: 9 October 2017 Time: 16:30
The MTN8 final between SuperSport United and Cape Town City at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday will be the 10th one since MTN replaced SAA as sponsors of the competition.
KickOff.com will be looking back at the last nine finals with players who were part of the action. To kick things off, we look at the inaugural MTN8 final in 2008, a big one between Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The score finished 0-0 after extra time and it had to be decided on penalties. Chiefs won 4-3 in the shootout, as Reneilwe Letsholoyane, now in the colours of SuperSport, scored the winning spot kick.
Onismor Bhasera was the only player to miss for Chiefs in the shootout, while Esrom Nyandoro and Thando Mngomeni failed to convert from the spot for Downs.
Gert Schalkwyk, now an ambassador for the MTN8, was part of the Chiefs side which triumphed in 2008 and remembers that final as a tight one with few chances at both ends.
Chiefs beat Santos and Swallows to get to the final, while Sundowns had to overcome Free State Stars and Tshwane rivals SuperSport as they booked a mouth-watering meeting with Amakhosi.
"I remember it was tense. Sundowns had good players and we had good players as well," said Schalkwyk, who was the top scorer in the tournament with three goals and also a scorer of a spot kick in the shootout.
"Eventually we went to extra time and we won it on penalties. It was not a game of many chances. I remember I got one chance and missed it with a header. Surprise [Moriri] also got one chance but he could not convert. There were about two or three chances throughout the game. It was tight," he added.
Leading up to the game, Schalkwyk remembers there was a lot of attention on the final because of the stature of the clubs. Chiefs also had to focus on keeping Zambian striker Collins Mbesuma, once a darling of the Amakhosi faithful, quiet.
Derrick Spencer is another former Chiefs player who was on the Sundowns side. Chiefs, meanwhile, had Jose Torrealba, who spent his best years in the PSL at Sundowns.
"There was a lot of attention on the final. We knew Mbesuma, but our defenders were able to mark him throughout the game."
Schalkwyk predicts that this weekend’s final will go to penalties.
"It’s going to be the same [as the one in 2008]. I am predicting it will go to penalties because both teams are playing well. I think it will be a nice final."