JOHANNESBURG - Having hosted many a cup final over the past years, the city of Polokwane is daring to dream of finally hosting one involving their own team.
The results from this weekend’s Telkom Knockout first round saw optimism abound in the Limpopo capital, with locals talking up the potential of a home final.
Not even the subsequent draw for the quarterfinals would dampen the mood, with the words ‘it’s possible’ littering conversations of many at the Peter Mokaba Stadium precinct.
Baroka FC’s 1-0 victory over defending champions Cape Town City as well as Polokwane City’s win over Ajax Cape Town the day before had many Limpopians walking with a spring in their step.
“It’s a good thing they did not draw us together, it means we can have an all-Limpopo final,” said a Baroka fan as he walked out of the stadium.
That City and Baroka will be away to Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits respectively in the next round did not seem to dampen the optimism of the fans, whose days of watching top class football from a distance are long gone.
Unlikely as it is seems given the tough fixtures that await them, an all-Limpopo final can happen.
For surely, if both Baroka and City reach the final, the PSL will have no option but to host the match there?
I hear someone say ‘but the PSL policy is to host finals at neutral venues’. And yes taking the match to the Peter Mokaba Stadium will be to the advantage of Baroka, who play their home matches there.
But would City rather go play out of town instead of at their alternative homeground? I doubt that.
And in any case, precedents have been set where a final between teams from the same city was played in that particular city, irrespective of the stadium being another’s homeground.
Remember that Absa Cup final between Ajax Cape Town and Santos which was played in the Mother City?
Of course there are still at least two matches for each of Bernard Molekwa and Kgoloko Thobejane’s teams to negotiate before they reach the final. And should they make it past the first hurdle, there is the possibility of them meeting in the semifinal.
Yet such was the delight of the weekend’s successes for the two teams that it was only logical that the people of Polokwane dared to dream of a final in their hometown between their home teams.
Wouldn’t that be grand?