Six players who will be key in Telkom KnockOut final
JOHANNESBURG - The Telkom Knockout final pits serial winners, Mamelodi Sundowns, against a team that’s searching for their first trophy, Maritzburg United. Despite their different levels of success, both teams will field formidable teams on Saturday at Moses Mabhida Stadium with a number of match winners in their midst.
The Ghanaian goalkeeper has been a rock for the Team of Choice. Ofori is a colossal figure who commands the box with authority. His performance has seen him own the Black Stars’ No 1 jersey while becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the country. Against Sundowns’ attack, he will have to be on top of his game if Maritzburg are to win. The 26-year-old is a reliable shot-stopper who thrives under pressure thanks to his calm head and leadership qualities.
Rushine de Reuck
The 23-year-old has been such a stand-out player this season, that his coach Eric Tinkler believes he should be playing for Bafana Bafana. His road to being where he is at the moment has been littered with challenges. He is a calm defender who is comfortable with the ball and is strong aerially. He has played a key role in Maritzburg’s road to the final.
The burly striker had a storming performance against Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-finals. Moseamedi was a handful, using his power and speed to devastating effect against Amakhosi. His strength in attack and defence makes him a valuable member of the team. He has done so well for Maritzburg that the club hasn’t missed Jeremy Brockie.
The 24-year-old has grown to be a reliable figure at Sundowns. The club’s defence has been their weakness for a long time. The only reason why it’s not a crisis is because they have a good attack that carries the bulk of the load. But when the attack has been misfiring like they have this season, Madisha’s role in the team has been massive. He has grown from an erratic but talented player, who had flashes of brilliance and errors, into a confident and consistent one. He will have his work cut out for him in trying to stop Moseamedi.
The Brazilians’ talisman is the club’s heartbeat. He makes them tick with how he plays and dictates things. The bringing forward of Sundowns’ match against Stellenbosch FC in Pretoria yesterday means that Sirino will play in the final. His absence would have been a huge blow for the club, especially in the absence of Themba Zwane. Without Zwane and Sirino, Sundowns have lacked bite upfront and fluidity in their play. Sirino has the talent to carry the team to glory on Saturday against what will be a stubborn Maritzburg defence.
The real Jali has arrived. For a long time the former Bafana midfielder was a shadow of his former self. Injuries didn’t help his cause, as did the stiff competition for places in central midfield at Sundowns. He had to shed some weight and work extra hard to cement a regular starting berth. That has seen him return stronger and motivated to do well. His ability to boss the midfield and start attacks is going to be key in a final that will be won by small margins and individual brilliance.