JOHANNESBURG – New Zealander Jeremy Brockie put aside a tug-of-war among South African clubs for his services and scored twice to take SuperSport United into the lucrative MTN8 Cup final on Saturday night.
His headed goals after 14 and 44 minutes in the eastern city Pietermaritzburg delivered a 2-0 away victory over Maritzburg United in the second leg of a semi-final and a 3-1 aggregate success.
SuperSport will face Wits or Cape Town City in the final on October 14, when a winners-take-all R8 million prize is going to be on the line.
Brockie, born in rugby hotbed Christchurch, is the most clinical finisher in South African football, making him a sought-after target.
He wanted to join Pretoria neighbours and Caf Champions League title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns during the recently completed transfer window.
Sundowns are bankrolled by Patrice Motsepe, one of the richest businessmen in South Africa, and reportedly made a R15m bid for the bearded 29-year-old.
But SuperSport rejected the offer, and warned Brockie to concentrate on winning trophies for a side who meet Zesco United of Zambia next Friday in a CAF Confederation Cup quarter-final.
“I do not let what happens outside the pitch affect me, and once I run on to the park, there is a job to be done,” he told reporters after bagging his brace.
“My goals helped settle the nerves as we were under pressure having being held at home after conceding a goal.
“The second goal was crucial, coming just before halftime, and leaving United needing to score at least three in 45 minutes to reach the final.”
His first came from an Aubrey Modiba cross, and Teboho Mokoena nodded a long pass from Grant Kekana into the path of the New Zealander for the second.
Mokoena was lucky to escape unscathed in the opening half from a studs-up challenge from Siphesihle Ndlovu, whose yellow card should have been a red.
Maritzburg were reduced to 10 men in the second half when Cameroon-born debutant Yazid Atouba was sent off after two cautions.
Cape Town, whose recently appointed coach Benni McCarthy helped Porto win the 2004 Uefa Champions League, lead Wits 1-0 going into the second leg in Johannesburg on Sunday.