Tomorrow sees the return of South African football with the semi-final of the Nedbank Cup. As much as I would like to act like I care about the first semi-final between Baroka and Bloemfontein Celtic, the truth is I don’t and you probably don’t too. The game we are both interested in is Mamelodi Sundowns versus Bidvest Wits. Pitso Mosimane versus Gavin Hunt. The infamous spenders versus the now, infamous sellers.
In the run-up to Saturday’s clash, Gavin Hunt has been saying all the cliche politically correct things a person who is about to be jobless in a month would say:
“It is important for us as professionals to finish as professionals and do a proper job,” said Hunt.
“Let us treat the game with respect. It will be difficult because we have so much to deal with. We will show professionalism until the end.
“It is not only the physical but also psychological issues we have to deal with.”
Pitso Mosimane kept to his style of 10% complementing the opponent, and 90% playing mind games.
“We have a big game against Wits and if you listen to their statements they’re saying that they want to go out in style,” said Mosimane.
“Wits’ players and coaches have a lot of incentives to win the cup and that’s why they’ve prioritized the Nedbank Cup.
“Over the last few days, they have only spoken about the Cup. It gives me an indication that the league is not a priority,” he added. “I am not talking on their behalf but just talking about what they have said.”
Bidvest Wits, in the public sphere, have turned into a club that everybody is feeling sorry for. Their sale came out of nowhere and no one at the club, except for the owners, knew about it or even expected it. It’s a sad way for a club that has been in the league for so long to go out. But, and the great poet Tupa Shakur once said ‘Life Goes On’. There is a football game that needs to be played.
Who needs to win this game more?
Wits want to go out with a bang. The pride of the players and the coach is a stake. They are definitely going to bring the game to Sundowns. Downs have their own reasons as to why they’d like a place in the Nedbank Cup final. They are on the march for a domestic treble. They have already clinched the Telkom Knockout and they are still very much in the league race.
With a game where both teams have about the same amount of quality, it will boil down to desire. I think Wits want this game more than Sundowns. Mosimane, like Hunt, would love to win the Nedbank Cup, but Jingles has bigger fish to fry in the Absa Premiership.
By @cheezfootball (the greatest footy journo on the internet)