Downs out to rekindle memories of 2015 final
The last time they were in a final at the 2010 Fifa World Cup venue back in 2015 they were crowned the champions of the Telkom Knockout after beating Kaizer Chiefs 3-1.
The superstitious among the Sundowns fans will thus look ahead to their club’s match this weekend and anticipate a similar result.
Sundowns take on Maritzburg United at the same venue in the self same Telkom Knockout final. Surely history will repeat itself on Saturday?
The Brazilians will be looking to replicate their brilliance of 2015. They were rampant against Amakhosi back then.
Sundowns don’t usually lose in Cup finals under Pitso Mosimane. The defending PSL champions have enjoyed a trophy-laden spell since Mosimane took over the reins back in 2012.
Mosimane won the Nedbank Cup beating Ajax Cape Town to win his first trophy at Sundowns in 2014-15. The following season he won the league and Sundowns haven’t looked back since then as they have added three more top-flight titles.
On top of those accomplishments they have captured the Caf Champions League, Super Cup and Telkom Knockout.
Only one team has managed to beat Sundowns in a final under Mosimane’s watch.
Wits walloped them 3-0 in the MTN8 final at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit in 2016. Sundowns were hapless against a rampant Clever Boys team.
The Team of Choice will be looking to upset Sundowns and become the second team to beat Mosimane in a Cup final.
Mosimane has been in three domestic finals against Ajax, Chiefs and Wits during his time with Sundowns.
Maritzburg will be competing in their second Cup final in the PSL era and are still searching for their maiden triumph.
Two seasons ago, Maritzburg were in the Nedbank Cup final but lost out to Free State Stars.
They will be hoping that it will be second time lucky. They stunned Wits and Chiefs on their way to the final, so facing a big team like Sundowns won’t faze them.
Eric Tinkler has already been to five Cup finals in his coaching career, losing three while winning two.
In his first season as a head coach, Tinkler lost to SuperSport United in the 2016 Nedbank Cup final while he was at Orlando Pirates. Unfortunately his contract was not renewed at the end of that season and he joined Cape Town City. It did not take him long to get off the mark. He lifted the Telkom Knockout in his first six months with City. After that season, Tinkler left and joined SuperSport where he won the 2017 MTN8.
The former Bafana Bafana international has also lost two continental finals while at Pirates and SuperSport. He will be able to help his players deal with the pressure of being in a Cup final.
But whether he will find a way to stop Mosimane’s Sundowns reliving the joy of 2015 remains to be seen.@minenhlrcr7