JOHANNESBURG - In their own words, SuperSport United captain Dean Furman and Orlando Pirates defender Abbubaker Mobara give us a blow-by-blow of how they reached Saturday's Nedbank Cup final and how they hope to finish the job at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Furman on SuperSport beating Royal Eagles 2-1: We’ve had a difficult road to the final because we haven’t had a home game. But we have had a good campaign despite coming up against lower-division sides who have nothing to lose and can throw everything at you. Those are the games that are potential banana skins. Our focus against Eagles was spot on. We grabbed the lead and they equalised, but our quality shone through in the end because we had expected them to throw everything at us.
Mobara on Pirates beating EC Bees 3-1: I think we all expected the game to be tough because we were playing a team that is not in the same division as us. A lot of the time a game like that can be even because you tend to come down to their level, but we handled it well. We conceded a late goal, but we were professional and never undermined them, playing to our strengths and ability.
Furman on the 2-0 victory over KwaDukuza United: This was a tough game, and they had a huge crowd. I remember the great atmosphere, and again they threw everything at us. You must give credit to a team from the lower league because that’s what this Cup is all about - giving everyone a chance against the so-called big teams. On the night they played very well, and for us to get through those two banana skins was a big confidence boost.
Mobara on the 4-1 win over Free State Stars: We fought hard and got the early goals that probably made it look easy in the end and we were on our way to the next round.
Furman on the dreaded penalty shoot-out against Kaizer Chiefs: We then went to Chiefs knowing that it was going to be a very difficult game, but we played well on the night and unfortunately it went to penalties and no one really likes to see a game go to penalties (the two sides were tied 1-1 after extra-time). We know we have got three of the best goalkeepers in the country here, and we expected Reyaad Pieterse to get his hand to one or two of them and as players we needed to make sure we convert. On the day Reyaad made some brilliant saves and we scored all of ours (SuperSport won 6-4), so credit to our goalkeeper and all of the players for that.
Mobara on the tense 2-1 win at home against Bloemfontein Celtic: Even though we had the upper hand here, Celtic are a difficult team to compete against. But that evening our fighting spirit was enormous as we went a goal up, then they equalised and forced the game into extra time, where we managed to get another goal. I think the guys showed a lot of character.
Furman on reaching the final after another penalty shoot-out win over Chippa United: We had played them in Port Elizabeth a few days before and they beat us 3-0. Again it was a tough crowd in East London where we had never played before. The game was exciting and end to end, but ultimately it went to penalties, and Ronwen Williams was in goal this time and made two or three fantastic saves and we kept our nerves to convert and win 4-2.
Mobara on scoring the winning goal away to Golden Arrows to reach the final: Similarly to the Celtic game, when we scored we were under a lot of pressure because they wanted the equaliser, quite desperately. They threw men forward and I think the back four, with the help of the midfield, kept the ball out of danger a number of times for us. We realised we hadn’t been good all season long and the Nedbank Cup was the only trophy available for us, so we pushed. I came in from deep and Mpho (Makola) gave me a good delivery, which I finished well. Not bad for my second goal at the club in my first season. I played four years at Ajax and only scored twice.