SuperSport’s Ke Yona Cup ambition at the mercy of Stellies

ANTONIO Van Wyk of Stellenbosch FC challenges Kegan Johannes of Supersport United. | BackpagePix

ANTONIO Van Wyk of Stellenbosch FC challenges Kegan Johannes of Supersport United. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 12, 2024


SUPERSPORT United’s ambitions to win the 2024 Nedbank Cup lie at the mercy of a glittering Stellenbosch FC outfit.

The two teams will meet at the Danie Craven Stadium tomorrow at 3pm, looking to book a semi-final spot in the Ke Yona Cup competition.

Having failed to win both the MTN8 and Carling Knockout Cup this season, Matsatsantsa head coach Gavin Hunt has made the Nedbank Cup the saving grace of the club’s 2023/2024 campaign.

In their way, however, is a Stellies outfit in the form of their lives.

The Cape Winelands-based outfit won their first top-flight cup with the Carling Knockout Cup triumph in December.

Head coach Steve Barker has also been instrumental in guiding his side to a historic 20-game unbeaten run, the first of its kind in the club’s history.

The size of Matsatsantsa’s next task cannot be exaggerated enough considering the form of their opponents.

SuperSport’s form has been in stark contrast to that of Stellenbosch, with Hunt’s men managing just a single win in all competitions in the 10 games they’ve played this year.

Their leaky defensive unit has been at the heart of their biggest problems this season, an unfamiliar trait for a Hunt team.

The Pretoria-based outfit has conceded 12 goals since the resumption of the second round of the season, averaging a goal a game.

Coming up against a Stellies side scoring for fun at the moment, with an impressive 11 strikes in their last five matches, the likes of Thulani Hlatshwayo and Co are in for a difficult task.

The meeting between these two teams has ignited positive conversations around their respective club models as they also continue to tussle for a place in the CAF Champions League.

Hunt spoke about the importance of finding solutions against teams that frequently display characteristics similar to his team.

The four-time Premier Soccer League title winner also expressed his desire to see his team defy the odds against a team that’s seemingly expected to get the better of them.

SuperSport have not won the Nedbank Cup since the 2016/2017 season under Stuart Baxter.

When asked for his thoughts about the game and the potential danger Stellenbosch posed, Hunt said he doesn’t think the game will be as one-sided as many might imagine.

“I am sure they think the same about us (that they are a threat) ... what we do. We are well aware of the threat Stellenbosch pose and they are also well aware of the threat we pose and the record we have against them (of four wins, one defeat and five draws from 10 meetings across all competitions) but that means nothing in this type of game,” he said.