Surprise surprise, it's Mabhida again
Posted: 11 September 2018 Time: 11:03
Few fans were shocked when the PSL last night announced Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium will host the MTN8 final again, given that it will be for the fifth time.
The tounament decider will be a repeat of last year's final at the same venue between champions SuperSport United and Cape Town City on September 29 (19h00 kick-off).
MTN have endorsed the competition 10 times since replacing SAA as sponsors, with Orlando Pirates winning it an unmatched three times under its current guise - once more than next-best Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
The first final at the stadium was in 2010, just after the venue was built for the World Cup. Pirates prevailed 4-3 on penalties against Moroka Swallows, with Lucky Lekgwathi slotting the winning kick, after an entertaining 120 minutes of football.
Bucs contested the second final at Mabhida in 2013 against Platinum Stars, going down 3-1 on penalties on this occasion after another 1-1 draw.
In 2014 Chiefs gained revenge for their 2011 final loss to the Buccaneers with a 1-0 victory over their neighbours at Mabhida, as Tefu Mashamaite nodded home a free-kick from George Maluleka.
The next two finals went to Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and Mbombela Stadium respectively before returning to Mabhida in 2017.
SuperSport ousted City 4-2 on penalties - with goalkeeper Ronwen Williams saving attempts from Lyle Lakay and Judas Moseamedi - after Thabo Mnyamane scored in the 80th minute to cancel out a 23rd minute opener from Sibusiso Masina.
This year's final will be the sixth in total in Durban, with Amakhosi winning the first one a decade ago – 4-3 on penalties against Mamelodi Sundowns following a barren 120 minutes at Absa Stadium.
Interestingly, both SuperSport coach Kaitano Tembo and City counterpart Benni McCarthy have won the competition as players.
Tembo did so in 2004 when Matsatsantsa defeated the Glamour Boys at Absa Stadium when the tournament was still known as the SAA Supa 8.
McCarthy helped Pirates defend the cup upon his return to South Africa from Europe in 2011.