This will be the third meeting between the two sides in the MTN8 after a two-legged semifinal clash in the 2018 tournament where Cape Town City triumphed on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate score and went on to lift the trophy. Catch the action live on Showmax Pro.
Taariq Fielies scored the winner in the first leg for City played in Cape Town, before Toni Silva grabbed a rare goal for Mamelodi Sundowns as they won 1-0 in the return fixture in Tshwane. That sent the game to penalties and City triumphed 4-2 after Silva and Anthony Laffor missed from the spot.
The only other knockout clash between the sides was a Nedbank Cup quarterfinal in 2018 that Sundowns won 2-1. Percy Tau and Hlompho Kekana were on target for The Brazilians, while Surprise Ralani netted for City. Sundowns therefore edge the head-to-head in cup games 2-1.
The teams have met on 13 previous occasions in all competitions and the record is exactly even, with six wins each and just a single draw. Sundowns have outscored their opponents 17-14. That is due to their two league clashes last season that finished 2-0 (away) and 3-0 (home) to The Brazilians.
Lebo Manyama, Kermit Erasmus and Ralani are the leading scorers in this fixture for City with three goals each. Ralani is the only player still at the club, with Erasmus having crossed over to now play for Sundowns. Of the other City scorers, only Fielies and Edmilson Dove, who have netted against Sundowns for the club before, remain in the squad.
Lebohang Maboe, Hlompho Kekana, Keletso Makgalwa, Lyle Lakay and Peter Shalulile lead the scoring for Sundowns in this fixture with two goals each. The latter two are likely to play in the final on Saturday, with Lakay a former City player.
In fact, Lakay was part of the City team that lost the 2017 MTN8 final in a penalty shoot-out against SuperSport United. Lakay took the first penalty for City in the shoot-out and missed. He had left the club by the time they won the title the following year.
Quite extraordinarily given their recent success, Sundowns have never lifted the MTN8 trophy in its current guise. Their last win in the competition was all the way back in 2007 when they beat Orlando Pirates 1-0.
Co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has lifted the trophy since then, he led Lamontville Golden Arrows to the title in 2009 with a thumping 6-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town. That remains the biggest win in a knockout final in South African football history.
Since Sundowns last lifted the MTN8, they have won the CAF Champions League (2016), CAF Super Cup (2017), six DStv Premiership titles (2013/14, 2015/16, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21), three Nedbank Cups (2008, 2014, 2019) and two Telkom Knockout (2015, 2019).
If Sundowns win it will be the fourth time they have won the trophy and move them into outright third on the all-time list after Kaizer Chiefs (15 wins) and Orlando Pirates (10). At the moment they are level with SuperSport United, Swallows FC and BidVest Wits.
Sundowns have appeared in the final on nine previous occasions, winning in 1988, 1990 and 2007, but falling short in 1992, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2016.
Cape Town City have appeared in every MTN8 competition since the club was formed in 2016. They were beaten finalists in 2017, but returned to the final to lift the trophy the following year. After that the club lost in the quarterfinals for two years in a row, but have made it back to the decider for the third time in six seasons.
City coach Eric Tinkler was in charge of SuperSport United when they beat his current club in the 2017 MTN8 final. Tinkler had just months before left City for Matsatsantsa, having guided the Mother City side to third place in the league in their maiden season, as well as the Telkom Knockout trophy. He found immediate success in the MTN8, but left the club after nine months in charge.
Both Tinkler and Mngqithi will be hoping to become just the seventh coach ever to win the trophy multiple times. Stanley ‘Screamer’ Tshabalala won on three occasions, while Kaizer Motaung, Jeff Butler, Eddie Lewis, Muhsin Ertugral and Gordon Igesund each won twice.
Sundowns’ penalty shoot-out win over Kaizer Chiefs in this year’s quarterfinals ended a run of four straight losses via spot-kicks in the MTN8 competition, including to City in the 2018 semifinals and to Chiefs in the 2008 final.
City lost a shoot-out to SuperSport in the 2017 final, but then beat both Sundowns and Matsatsantsa via spot-kicks in the 2018 edition. The only other shoot-out they have been involved in was in the first round of the Telkom Knockout in 2019 when they lost to Chiefs.
Both of City’s two previous MTN8 finals against SuperSport were played at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium. Their only other knockout decider was the 2016 Telkom Knockout, also against SuperSport, which was played in Polokwane. So it will be the first time they have met a team other than SuperSport in a cup final in what is their fourth appearance.
This will be the 14th edition of the MTN8 tournament after sponsors MTN took over in 2008. It was announced in 2016 that MTN has extended their sponsorship of the competition for a further six years to 2022.
The winners of this year’s tournament will once again pocket R8-million, the richest prize money in South African knockout football. The other seven competing sides will take home R800,000, irrespective of where they finish.
This will be the 47th instalment of the MTN8 competition since the first event was first staged in 1972. It has been played every year bar 1977, and 1997-1999, when it briefly fell off the South African football calendar. When the new Premier Soccer League was formed, the competition was done away with until being restored to the calendar in 2000.
Kaizer Chiefs are the most successful club in MTN8 history with 15 victories from 21 final appearances. Their previous win was in 2014 when a first half goal from Tefu Mashamaite gave them a 1-0 victory over Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates. Pirates are the next most successful side with 10 title triumphs from 16 finals. After that the next highest number of wins is just three by Mamelodi Sundowns, Swallows FC, BidVest Wits and SuperSport United.
Thirty-nine of the 46 previous winners have come from Gauteng, with three victories for the Western Cape (Santos, Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town City), and one each for the Free State (Bloemfontein Celtic), KwaZulu-Natal (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Mpumalanga (Witbank Aces) and North West (Platinum Stars)
Orlando Pirates won the first ever final as they edged Kaizer Chiefs 3-2, which included a Buccaneers debut for future Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba. It was Pirates’ first win over Chiefs in official competition.
Seven finals have gone to extra-time, two involving Kaizer Chiefs (both won), Orlando Pirates (one win, one loss), SuperSport United (one win, one loss) and Cape Town City (one win, one loss). The other was between Jomo Cosmos and Moroka Swallows, and was won 3-2 by Ezenkosi.
Six of those finals have gone to penalty shoot-outs: 2001 Kaizer Chiefs 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns [aet; Chiefs won 7-6 on pens]
– 2008 Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns [aet, Chiefs won 4-3 on pens]
– 2010 Orlando Pirates 1-1 Moroka Swallows [aet, Pirates won 4-2 on pens]
– 2013 Platinum Stars 1-1 Orlando Pirates [aet, Stars won 3-1 on pens]
– 2017 SuperSport United 1-1 Cape Town City [aet, United won 4-2 on pens] 2018 Cape Town City 0-0 SuperSport United [aet, City won 4-1 on pens]
Two finals have gone to replays:
– 1988 Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 / 1-1 Arcadia [Sundowns won replay 1-0]
– 1996 Orlando Pirates 1-1 QwaQwa Stars [Pirates won replay 3-0]
The most goals scored by a player in a top eight match is five by David Dolo for Moroka Swallows as they overwhelmed Winter Roses 11-1 in the 1975 first round.
There have not always been eight teams in the top eight competition. The league experimented with expanding the Cup and in 1975 there were 16 teams, in 1979 there were 17 and in 1976 there were 32!
Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are the only sides to retain the top eight trophy. Chiefs managed it in 1981-1982 and 1991-1992. Pirates managed it in 2010-2011. They did also win the trophy in 1996 and 2000, when there were no tournaments in between.
The record team score in the MTN8 competition is that 11-1 win for Moroka Swallows over amateurs Winter Roses in the expanded edition in 1975.
The first ever penalty shootout in the tournament came in 1976 when amateurs Malimo from Welkom upset Bloemfontein Celtic 4-2 on spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw in the opening round. The record penalty shootout score is 9-8 in favour of Dynamos over Swallows in their 1981 semifinal replay.
In 1975, Manguang United had to forfeit their match against Pirates because they could not obtain enough petrol for their trip to Johannesburg. There were fuel restrictions in those days.
There have been three cup final hat tricks in the competition’s history – Ace Ntsoelengoe for Chiefs against AmaZulu in 1976, Marks Maponyane for Chiefs against Rangers in 1987 and Phil Masinga for Jomo Cosmos against Chiefs in 1991, when despite his three goals he still finished on the losing side.
Three own goals were scored in the final when Arcadia beat Wits in the first leg of the 1986 decider in Durban, including a spectacular diving header into his own net by Arcs’ centre back Dave Bukowski.
The only time the two legs of the final ended tied and the competition needed a final replay was in 1988 when Sundowns edged out neighbours Arcadia, in a match not allowed in Pretoria but played instead at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg.
SuperSport United are the only team to appear in every season of the MTN8 competition that was played since the launch of the PSL in the 1996/97 campaign.©