JOHANNESBURG – There is just one soccer match that stands in the way of SuperSport United making history.
Tonight (8.15pm kickoff), the Pretoria team will play in arguably their most important game in their history when they take on Congolese giants TP Mazembe in the second leg of the CAF Confederations Cup final at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Matsatsantsa go into the match trailing 2-1, following the first leg defeat in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last weekend.
Goals from Adama Traoré and Daniel Adjei Nii gave the men from the DRC the advantage, but importantly for SuperSport, youngster Sipho Mbule scored the all-important away goal.
Should they overturn the deficit and walk away winners tonight, the club will become the first South African team to have won the CAF Confederations Cup trophy, with Soweto giants Orlando Pirates being runners-up in 2015 losing out to Tunisian side Etoile.
Head coach Eric Tinkler will also have the opportunity to try for a second time to win a Confederations Cup trophy, having come close with Pirates two years ago. This week, the Saturday Star caught up with some die-hard Supersport United fans to get their views:
“We’re going into the game with a very strong team. Yes, we may have lost 2-1 last weekend, but we also managed to score that crucial away goal.
“I have faith we will turn the scoreline around especially since we are playing on home turf. I have a very good feeling that we will win 2-0.
“TP Mazembe is a good team, but they are not unbeatable. We have played many other stronger African teams and beat them so they are nothing special. My job at Supersport as a supporter is to believe in any player the coach selects and support them. ”
“We have quality players and a good coach who is experienced, especially in this cup. I have no doubt we’ll lift the trophy. TP Mazembe is also a good side and has won the CAF before, so I respect them. But they needed to finish us off in the DRC if they stood any chance of winning. More than anything, SuperSport United players have to be mentally prepared to win and work as a team.
“The return of Reneilwe Letsholonyane is a boost and I’ll be very glad if Teboho Mokoena can also recover I am backing all the players to do really well on Saturday, but there are a few that are game changers.”
“There’s nothing to suggest we won’t win come Saturday. We have overturned deficits many times and I’m pretty sure we can do it again. If you look back when we played Al Ahly Shendi, we lost 3-2 away and came back and won 5-0 after losing the same week to Sundowns. TP Mazembe is a good side, but I saw the Sunday game, and they aren’t very good in the middle of the park where we lacked Letsholonyane’s presence. He will be back to enforce the midfield so I am positive.”
“It’s a big game on Saturday - so the nerves have set in. But I’m confident that my team can go on to make history. I was heartbroken that we lost 2-1 in the first leg, but the great thing is that we managed to score an away goal.
“As important as the players are, I also believe that fans play just as an important role when it comes to a big game like this. I hope that we can fill up the stadium and create an atmosphere that is intimidating and daunting for our opponents.”
“Teams like Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns have always enjoyed the limelight in South African football. Now it’s our time. We have been playing great football for many years now, and it’s a pity that we aren’t properly recognised for the great football team that we are.”