PSL may open up MTN8 final at Moses Mabhida Stadium to fans as a ’pilot project’
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Johannesburg - The Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, will host the final of the MTN8 between Cape Town City and Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday, October 30, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and sponsors MTN announced on Thursday morning.
This will be the second year in succession that the World Cup venue will stage the showdown of the Wafa Wafa Cup, having hosted the match between Orlando Pirates and Bloemfontein Celtic last December. The Buccaneers won by 2-1.
For the first time in 18 months, the PSL could allow the return of the spectators to the stadium via the MTN8 final. On Wednesday afternoon, they announced that they are considering using the match as a “pilot project” after a briefing.
However, while they’ll meet and finalise the details after seven to 10 days, they’ll be in consultation with the mother body – the South African Football Association – after they were the first association to allow fans back into the stadium.
SAFA were the first association in the land to allow 2 000 vaccinated spectators in the stadium, during Bafana Bafana’s clash with Ethiopia in the World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday night. Bafana won the match by 1-0 after an own goal.
Meanwhile, City will be the home side at the Moses Mabhida, where they'll be hoping for a déjà vu moment. The last time they played the MTN8 final three years ago, the Capetonians defeated SuperSport United via the lottery of penalty shootouts.
City may have had a rollercoaster outing in the league, but their MTN8 campaign has been impressive. They defeated AmaZulu in the quarterfinal via the lottery of penalty shootouts before hammering Swallows 4-0 on aggregate in the semi-final.
But they'll need to be at their best when they come up against Sundowns who are eager to end their hoodoo run in the competition. Sundowns haven't won the MTN8 since it was renamed in 2008, albeit dominating locally for the last eight years.
However, there’s an overall belief within the Sundowns’ camp that they can turn their fortunes around this campaign. The Brazilians are unbeaten this season in nine matches, thanks to three draws and six wins in all competitions.
In the MTN8 quarterfinal, they defeated Kaizer Chiefs via the lottery of penalty shootouts before hammering Golden Arrows 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-final. But they’ll have to guard against complacency when they cross paths with City.