Cape Town City must score at least three goals against Bidvest Wits at the Cape Town Stadium this weekend, or face being knocked out at the semi-final stage of the 2016 MTN8 competition.
The two sides clash on Saturday night (20H15 kick off) in the Mother City in a second leg encounter, Bidvest Wits having won the first leg 3-0 in Johannesburg last weekend with goals from Eleazar Rodgers, Elias Pelembe and Gabadinho Mhango.
City now face a mammoth task – they need to score three unanswered goals to take the tie to penalties. Should City concede, they will then need to win by four clear goals to avoid being knocked out on the away goals rule.
The Cape side, who started the season so well with wins over Polokwane City in the league and Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 quarter-finals, go into Saturday night’s match looking also to avoid a hat-trick of defeats after losing 2-0 away at Golden Arrows on Wednesday.
Having seen his side fail to score in their last two matches, head coach Eric Tinkler, a former Bidvest Wits man, will be looking to the likes of Bongolwethu Jayiya, Judas Moseamedi, Aubrey Ngoma, Lehlohonolo Majoro and Lebogang Manyama to make things happen up front.
Speaking to Kick Off earlier this week, City skipper Manyama admitted his side face a herculean task, although he remains hopeful:
“As for overturning last Saturday’s defeat against Wits, well nothing is impossible. You might never know in football, we might overturn the score line,” said Manyama.
For the Clever Boys, it will surely all be about focus and concentration; not allowing any complacency to set in, and finishing off the job professionally.
It’s unlikely though that coach Gavin Hunt will allow the Students to rest on their laurels – he was unsatisfied after the 3-0 win last week:
“Disappointed, really, I mean we were poor, it wasn’t good,” said Hunt. “We can see that two weeks certainly affected us, a lot of players were away and came back a little bit sluggish. We were a yard off the pace, we looked like we needed a gallop so we got one tonight. Yeah, we got three but we really dropped out and it wasn’t good but we move on, go to the next game.”
Wits were only able to manage a 0-0 midweek draw away to Polokwane City coming into Saturday’s game, although their record for the season still makes for impressive reading – three wins and one draw, The second semi-final is between Mamelodi Sundowns and Chippa United, the match scheduled for Wednesday 21 September at the Loftus Stadium. The first leg encounter in Port Elizabeth ended in a 0-0 draw.