The Nedbank Cup final offers up another “David vs Goliath” battle as Bloemfontein Celtic face Mamelodi Sundowns. We pick five players that could determine the contest.
The Celtic captain has a wealth of experience under his belt but he will need to muster every once if he is to hoist the Cup on Saturday. With nine goals in the league, Mabena has once more proven himself to a be a persistent goal threat. In Cup finals, one goal could be the difference over the 90 minutes and thus the responsibility will weigh heavily on his shoulders.
From source of crowd frustration to the darling of Chloorkop. Times do change in football. Maboe’s final day hat-trick helped seal the title for Masadawana and in the process, it helped the influential forward win some sections of the demanding fan base over.
“Obviously it’s not nice to be always being criticised and hearing from people that you are not doing well‚ but tough love from the fans really motivated me‚” he said.
Another top performance could very well make those struggles seem a lifetime ago.
If Celtic are to keep Sundowns free-scoring attacking unit quiet, then it will be up to Chabalala’s ability to marshall his backline. The on-loan defender has been key in helping his side to their unbeaten run in the “Bio Bubble” but now faces the biggest hurdle. Victory will see Siwelele head into African competition and the defender is aware of the ramifications. “We have an opportunity, a very big opportunity to play in Africa and that will change our lives as well. Life is good under coach John,” he says.
The veteran goalkeeper will no more than most that a single mistake or lapse in concentration could mean the difference between the R7 million cheque for winning and a vast quantity less for losing. In the absence of start goalkeeper Denis Onyango, it will be up to Mweene to negate the threat posed by the plucky underdogs.
The midfielder scored two league goals post-lockdown being lifted for the PSL and was instrumental in helping ‘Downs win their 10th title. His creativity and clinical play in the final third will be needed once more as he looks to break down a Celtic side that has not lost in eight fixtures.