/ 9 May 2013

Chiefs, SuperSport to have ‘helluva’ Nedbank Cup final

SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt.
SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt.

Following his side's thrilling 3-2 extra-time victory over Platinum Stars, SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt says he is looking forward to heading into the final of the Nedbank Cup as underdogs.

United will defend their title against Kaizer Chiefs, after the Pretoria outfit had to come from a goal behind to bag victory at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng, outside Rustenburg, on Wednesday.

"It's going to be a helluva final," Hunt said after the game.

"We'll be huge underdogs there but, on the field of play, we ran them [Chiefs] close this year in the game we lost to them [in the Premiership] … They're a good side but we'll worry about that when we get there."

Second-half strikes from Kermit Erasmus and Clifford Mulenga cancelled Tintswalo Tshabalala opener, but with penalties awarded to both teams, referee Jerome Damon ensured an exciting finish in icy conditions.

It was United's Sibusiso Zuma who made the difference, slotting his penalty in the first period of additional time, while breaking Stars' hearts.

'We knew they were better than us'
Hunt said Matsatsants's performance was disappointing for large parts of the opening half, but they picked themselves up against a resilient Stars side, reaching their third cup final in 12 months in the process.

"We knew they were better than us but we told the players to be patient, as we knew we'd break out and I thought we did well," Hunt said.

"Over the 90 minutes and the extra-time, we had to do what we had to do … We didn't keep the ball well enough throughout the game but, at the end of the day, it's about getting through. We've been in three finals now in the last four cups, so let's keep going."

Meanwhile, Dikwena boss Cavin Johnson admitted he was disappointed not to be heading into the final, but believed his team had achieved tremendous success just by reaching the semifinal stage of the knockout competition.

"The fact that we were here is already a positive. There are no negatives at the club at the moment," Johnson said.

"We were in a semifinal and we're chasing Kaizer Chiefs for the title and, for us, that supersedes everything we have … It's not like we're a SuperSport or a Kaizer Chiefs – SuperSport have won the league three times. We have just superseded our expectations by getting to the semifinal."

Chiefs beat national first division side United FC 2-1 at the weekend to book their spot in the final, setting up a first ever meeting between the two sides in the Nedbank Cup final on May 25. – Sapa