Bloem Celtic hoping for third time lucky in MTN8 final against Orlando Pirates
CAPE TOWN – Bloemfontein Celtic coach John Maduka is hoping it's going to be third time lucky when his team faces off against Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 final.
Celtic despatched defending champions Supersport United 1-0 on Saturday to give Phunya Sele Sele a 2-1 victory on aggregate.
The final will be Celtic's third final in the last few years and Maduka is hoping for a better ending after his team went down to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final at the end of last season.
"It is very important for us to go out there and win the cup for the team, it has been a long time. This is our second cup final and we just hope that things go according to our plan. This is the third time we have gone into the final in recent years. We did not win in the previous two, this is the third time for us to win the cup,” said Maduka.
It certainly will be a tough task for Maduka's team, especially against a rampant Pirates team who brushed aside fellow Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs over the two legs. Pirates will also be playing for their coach Josef Zinnbauer, who suddenly had to leave South Africa for his homeland Germany after the 3-0 first leg victory over Chiefs due to his son being involved in an accident.
Celtic, however, will also the extra motivation of trying to get their hands on the R8 million prize money due the financial difficulties the club has faced in recent years.
“We just need to go out there and focus on the game and try to make sure that we do our best. It will be very good for the team to win it, especially for a team that is run without a sponsor, it is not very easy but in the field of play the boys have been working very hard and focusing on the job at hand and this is the reward that we get. We just need to focus on the final and try to win. It will not be easy, but we have given ourselves a chance to win a cup by getting in the final,” Maduka added.
Much of Celtic's hopes in the showpiece will rest on the creative midfield duo Given Mashinkinya and Lucky Baloyi. The pair combined brilliantly against Supersport with Mashinkinya providing the assist from a deadball situation for Victor Letsoalo’s winning goal.
“We have the right balance in the midfield because most of the games are won there. The players have to make sure that whoever plays comes and gives their best and Mashikinya and Lucky have done that. Those two join in on the attack and help the defence when we are defending. I am happy to have the midfield that I have in the team. Whoever is available will play and they will do a good job because there is a lot of competition,” Maduka said.
The final is scheduled for early next month.