Johannesburg - Their season has been largely underwhelming but SuperSport United can take plenty of confidence from their back-to-back wins against AmaZulu in the league, and against Platinum City Rovers in the Nedbank Cup Round of 16 last weekend.
Matsatsantsa would have been hoping to challenge for the league title ahead of this season. That has not materialised, but they can still aim to ensure a strong top-eight finish while also embarking on a deep run in the Nedbank Cup.
Kaitano Tembo’s side have been drawn to play against GladAfrica Championship side Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the quarterfinals. They will be the firm favourites to advance to the semi-finals.
SuperSport’s immediate challenge, however, is a game against Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Wednesday night. A win for Matsatsantsa could potentially see them leapfrog the Sea Robbers and move into the top four.
SuperSport captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams is aware that the game will not be easy for his side.
“Playing against Pirates is never easy, especially in their own backyard. They have been part of many competitions so we need to use that to our advantage. We also need to use the extra day of rest that we had to our advantage. It will be tough. They want to climb the ladder but so do we. We should dominate and put them under pressure from the word go. We’ve watched their last game and know what they are about,” said Williams.
Meanwhile, Pirates bounced back from their league defeat to Kaizer Chiefs and their Nedbank Cup elimination at the hands of Marumo Gallants by convincingly downing Royal Leopards 3-0 in the Caf Confederation Cup last weekend.
Now that they are only contending in league and continental games, the aim of the Sea Robbers will be to ensure second place in the league while also embarking on a deep run in Africa’s second-tier club competition, a tournament which no South African side has ever won.
Interestingly, Pirates and SuperSport are the two South African teams who came closest to winning the Confederation Cup. Pirates lost the 2015 final against Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel while SuperSport were downed in the 2017 final by DR Congo giants TP Mazembe.