SuperSport v Sundowns: pupil Tembo in cup challenge with teacher Mosimane

SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo at a press conference at the PSL headquarters in Parktown on Thursday, February 6.
SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo at a press conference at the PSL headquarters in Parktown on Thursday, February 6.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

SuperSport United’s work and team ethic make them as intimidating an opponent as star-studded Mamelodi Sundowns, Matsatsantsa’s coach Kaitano Tembo has said.

Tembo said this after admitting that coming up against South Africa’s most experienced coach, who he once played under when the Zimbabwean was a dynamic defender at Mosimane’s SuperSport in the 2000s, is “a huge challenge”.

SuperSport meet Sundowns in easily the biggest match of the Nedbank Cup last-32 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday (kickoff 8.15pm).

The Tshwane derby is always closely fought. This season Tembo has beaten Mosimane once (2-0) in the second leg of a semifinal after the first was drawn 1-1, on SuperSport’s way to winning the MTN8. He has lost once, 2-1 in the league last month.

“Well, I think tactically it’s a huge challenge, because Pitso is a very good coach and I think he pays a lot of attention to detail,” Tembo said, asked about pitting his wits against Mosimane.

“The little things do matter to him. At the same time, too, he’s got a very good team. Good individual players who can win the game at any given time – the [Themba] Zwanes, [Gaston] Sirinos.

“But that for us is also an advantage. We always try and focus more on the team, and have a good balance with possession. And we have good players who can hurt Sundowns in certain areas when they do certain things. And it’s key for us to take advantage of that on the day,” said the 49-year-old.

“I think it’s a game of small margins where there is no room for any mistakes. I think that will be key on the day. To commit less mistakes, to focus, to have the right mentality, the right work ethic.

“If you look at our previous games, whether we win or lose it will always be very close.

“So that shows how tough it is to play each other. I think he (Mosimane) also knows he’s coming up against a very good team also, with a very good work ethic. It’s going be a game where whoever makes more or less mistakes will win.”

SuperSport boast on-form strikers in Bradley Grobler and Thamsanqa Gabuza; a dynamic midfield of Dean Furman, Teboho Mokoena and Sipho Mbule; and an experienced, tough defence.

Tembo’s team, like Mosimane’s third-placed Sundowns, remain in contention for the Absa Premiership in fourth place.

The Pretoria matchup also pits the season’s two winners of the previous cup competitions against each other, as Sundowns were triumphant in the Telkom Knockout.

 

Nedbank Cup last-32 this weekend -

Friday:

  • Stellenbosch FC v Maritzburg United (Athlone Stadium, 8pm)

 

Saturday:

  • Passion FC v Real Kings (Kameelrivier Stadium, 3pm)
  • Bloemfontein Celtic v AmaZulu (Dr Molemela Stadium, 3pm)
  • Amavarara FC v Super Eagles (Sisa Dukashe Stadium, 3pm)
  • Vaal University v Lamontville Golden Arrows (Dobsonville Stadium, 3pm)
  • Kaizer Chiefs v Royal Eagles (FNB Stadium, 6pm)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns v SuperSport United (Loftus Versfeld, 8.15pm)
  • Highlands Park v Uthongathi FC (Makhulong Stadium, 8.15pm)

 

Sunday:

  • Jomo Cosmos v Hungry Lions FC (Olen Park, 3pm)
  • Orlando Pirates v Bidvest Wits (Orlando Stadium, 3pm)
  • Black Leopards v North West University (Thohoyandou Stadium, 3pm)
  • Mbombela United v Cape Town City (Kanyamazane Stadium, 3pm)

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