Kabelo Mahlasela in action for Bloemfontein Celtic. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Kabelo Mahlasela in action for Bloemfontein Celtic. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Simba Marumo. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Simba Marumo. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - Who will shine in this weekend's Telkom Knockout final when Bidvest Wits battle it out with Bloemfontein Celtic at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu, Durban?

Both teams have potential match-winners in their squads. But can they follow in the foot-steps of the likes of Simba Marumo, Mabhudi Khenyeza, Sithembiso Ngcobo, Itumeleng Khune and Joel Mogorosi who all played a major role when their teams lifted the TKO in the past years?

Marumo, who netted a stunning hat-trick against Ajax Cape Town in the 2006 final when he was still playing for Silver Stars (now Platinum Stars), has singled out Kabelo Mahlasela and Darren Keet as the men to watch in the final.

“Kabelo Mahlasela is a gem. He is full of energy. Celtic need Mahlasela to unlock the Wits defence. He makes things happen for them. I think he is the one who is going to create chances for the likes of Ndumiso Mabena upfront."

As for Wits, Marumo believes their star will be right in the last line of defence.

"For me, Darren Keet will be key for Wits between the posts. He has been good for them during their dry spell in the league,” Marumo explained.

Should he be right, it wouldn't be the first time a goalkeeper steals the show in the final of the country's league Cup.

Back in 2008, Khune - suffering from cramps - incredibly saved three penalties against Mamelodi Sundowns to earn Kaizer Chiefs a 3-2 victory.

Traditionally though, it is the scorers who steal the show and Khenyeza was at it in the 2007 final. He scored a brace to help Ajax Cape Town roll past Orlando Pirates at Durban's Chatsworth Stadium.

And then there was Ngcobo who will forever be remembered for his brace against Pirates in the 2010 final at the FNB Stadium as Chiefs won 3-0.

In 2012, it was the turn of Mogorosi to be the hero. He scored the controversial solitary strike against Mamelodi Sundowns at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Marumo still has vivid memories of his 2006 hat-trick.

“Definitely one of the most memorable moments in my career. It was special. It was my first season with Stars and I had to prove myself. All the goals I scored that day were from moves we had practised at training going into the match,” Marumo reminisced before looking ahead to Saturday.

“Celtic has been in good form of late. Wits, on the other hand, have been bothered by injuries, frustration and poor form. This is their chance to kick start their season.

"But for me, Celtic are better all round. It won’t an easy game, but Celtic will win it. They must just be wary of the wounded lion that is Wits though,” warned Marumo.

The game will kick-off at 6pm on Saturday.

The Star

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