After last year's disappointment, United badly want the MTN8 trophy
JOHANNESBURG – “We want it very badly,” SuperSport United’s utility player Aubrey Modiba said of the club’s desire to get their hands on the MTN8 trophy.
Last season Modiba and his teammates watched Cape Town City lift the trophy at their expense at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The Citizens won that contest on penalties after the match ended goalless in extra-time.
SuperSport were given a taste of their own medicine having beaten the same team on penalties, at the same venue, to win the same trophy two seasons ago. The disappointment of last season is driving Matsatsantsa a Pitori ahead of their clash with Highlands Park on Saturday at Orlando Stadium in the MTN8 final.
“We lost it in the final last season; that still hurts. We have started well this season, so it would be nice for us to get something out of the performances that we have been putting in in every game. We want it very bad,” Modiba said.
The two teams, SuperSport and Highlands, have been stand-out performers in the season so far. While SuperSport have been good in the cup and the league, Highlands have been inconsistent in the league but solid in the cup.
The Lions of the North haven’t conceded a goal in their three matches in the MTN8, getting past Orlando Pirates and Polokwane City over two legs.
But SuperSport know how to play finals, this is after all their third successive appearance in the MTN8 final while Highlands are making their debut.
“It’s good to play in the final,” Modiba said. “We have been doing that almost every season with the team.
“We were on the losing side last season, so we know that feeling of losing in the final. It’s not nice. It’s a tough one against Highlands Park who have just come from a victory against Polokwane City. They are a team that’s doing well at the moment. They are a fit team. They work very hard.
“We are going to have to put up a fight to match them in all areas so that we win the game. It’s going to be a tough one.”
Modiba has also had an up-and-down start to the season. He was heavily linked with a move to Mamelodi Sundowns during the transfer window, but SuperSport refused to budge.
As fate would have it, he would pick up an injury against the Brazilians in the opening match of the Absa Premiership. He bounced back from that injury stronger to earn his place back in the starting XI and be a definite starter in the final on Saturday.
Modiba scored from the spot against AmaZulu in their last game to give SuperSport maximum points and momentum going into the final.
“That goal gave me confidence,” Modiba said.
“The team has been doing well, it’s a good thing for me as a player to add value to that. I had to get stronger and make sure that I am prepared when the coach needs me because you can’t just walk into the starting line-up, you need to work hard and make sure that you’re ready.
It’s good to be back and scoring goals.”