MTN8 flashback: 2012 final

The Dube Birds started the season with Zeca Marques at the helm, following the departure of Gordon Igesund who almost won the Absa Premiership title with the Soweto side the previous campaign.

Swallows were in sublime form heading into the final, but it was SuperSport who took an early lead through left winger Franklin Cale. The former Ajax Cape Town man struck in the third minute, but the Dube Birds had the tenacity to come from behind.

Midfielder Giorgi Nergadze scored a brilliant goal from long range to level matters for Swallows in the 17th minute and Bennett Chenene sealed the deal five minutes from time with a cheeky lob over Matsatsantsa goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez.

Greg Etafia, the man who was in goal for the Dube Birds that night, says Marques gave them a strong motivational speech before the final and it gave them the edge.

“A final always has great mermories when you win. The thing I remember before the game is the motivation we got from the coach,” Etafia tells

“Before then we did well with Gordon. When he came in we escaped relegation and then the following season we almost won the league [before he left to join Bafana Bafana]. Zeca took over and he gave us a good motivational speech before the final.

“Them taking the league was a shock because we had been doing well. But we believed we could come back. It was a good atmosphere.”

What helped Swallows at the time, according to Etafia, was that they were united as a team. They had some good players who still had a lot to prove, such as Chenene, Lerato Chabangu, David Mathebula and Siyabonga Nomvethe.

“The players were united and we had a lot of good players like [Katlego] Mashego, [Lefa] Tsutsulupa and others. We were humble. Guys like Chenene had come from big teams, but we were united,” says Etafia, who is now the goalkeeper coach at Baroka FC.

Chabangu was the best performing player in the MTN8 that year and Etafia says it was great to play alongside the midfielder.

“Lerato Chabangu, what can you say? The boy was just unbelievable. He could do a lot of things with the ball. He could have gone so far. It was great to play alongside him. I pray God gives him the opportunity to bounce back.”