The MTN 8 semifinals continue on Saturday, with Bloemfontein Celtic and Supersport United kicking off their second-leg tie at Dr Molemela Stadium.
It’s all level between the two sides, with Phunya Sele Sele holding a slight advantage after scoring the crucial away goal in a 1-1 draw at Lucas Moripe Stadium last Sunday.
Bloemfontein Celtic vs Supersport United: MTN 8 semifinal preview
They renew rivalries after contrasting results in midweek PSL action, where United bagged a slim 1-0 victory over Stellenbosch, while Celtic were on the wrong end of an identical scoreline against Orlando Pirates.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s MTN 8 semifinal, Matsatsansa coach Kaitano Tembo is wary of the upper hand carried by his team’s opponents going into the clash.
“We have to go out there and be patient and not panic, play our normal game and manage the game properly and take whichever opportunities we create and I think we have got the experience to play in these two-legged semifinals and I think we have to go out there with the right mentality and the right attitude, we have got nothing to lose,” the former Zimbabwean international said after the victory over Stellenbosch.
Kaitano Tembo, Supersport United head coach
His opposite number John Maduka, however, has refuted the claim that Celtic go into the second leg as favourites.
“The pressure should be on them. SuperSport are the defending champions, so they want to defend this cup,” Maduka responded. “He [Tembo] is playing mind games. We are not the favourites. They are the favourites. They are defending champions and should be favourites. “It doesn’t mean that we scored an away goal in Pretoria in the first leg, then we are favourites. They are defending champions, and they have to defend this cup.
“So the pressure should be on them, not us. We are not under pressure. We are going there to play our game and try to put ourselves in the final. As much as we scored a goal away, that does not put us under pressure. We are playing at home and like we normally go to every game. We will try to win the match.”
John Maduka, Bloemfontein Celtic head coach
Celtic have been the more dominant side in cup encounters between these two sides, progressing to the next round on all four occasions.
In these matches, they have scored one win in regulation time, while the other three clashes were decided on penalties.
Their last cup encounter prior to the MTN 8 semifinal first leg was in the 2018 Nedbank Cup, which ended 1-1 after 120 minutes, before the Free State outfit won the shoot-out.
Kick-off time and TV channel
The MTN 8 semifinal kicks off at 15:30 (SAST) and will air live on the Supersport Premier Soccer League channel (202).