Cape Town – Kaizer Chiefs captain Siphiwe Tshabalala is relying on Amakhosi fans to be their 12th man in the MTN8 final.
The Soweto giants travel to Port Elizabeth on Saturday, September 19 to take on Ajax Cape Town for R8m cash prize.
“It will be a big game,” comments Tshabalala on the club's website.
“We are looking forward to it. The boys are ready. We are one win away from holding the cup in our hands.”
The Amakhosi captain has started the season in fine form, having netted already twice and provided three assists in the Absa Premiership and the MTN8.
Chiefs have won the Top Eight competition 15 times in 20 finals played since the competition was introduced in 1972 (it was named BP Top 8 at the time). Amakhosi won the trophy for the first time in 1973.
The first MTN8 trophy win came in 2008, the first year of the Top 8 with MTN as the sponsor, when Mamelodi Sundowns were beaten on penalties - Tshabalala was part of the winning team.
Shabba also played in last season’s MTN8 final, coming on for George Lebese in the 70th minute. At the time, the Chiefs captain was coming back to full fitness after having suffered an injury. Orlando Pirates were beaten 1-0 in 2014.
Last weekend, Amakhosi beat SuperSport United 4-1, coming back from behind 1-0 at half-time. In the second half, Chiefs performed excellently.
“It makes you happy when the results are coming your way. We take the positives with us to the final,” Tshabalala reflects on the encounter.
The Chiefs captain expressed pleasure about the final being played at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay stadium.
“It’s a great venue and the people are friendly. We are also looking forward to play in a packed stadium with most of the crowd getting fully behind us.
“That’s always a great boost for the team. Our supporters are our twelfth man,” Tshabalala enthuses about the Amakhosi faithful, before speaking directly to them: “You have been great and that’s why we want to win the trophy for you.”
Kick-off is at 15:00.