Polokwane - This might sound like a fairy tale, but it’s not. A six-month-old club already has its name on the Telkom Knockout trophy. Unbelievable!
Cape Town City showed that nothing is impossible as they lifted their maiden trophy barely six months after they were conceived.
All hail City and their coach Eric Tinkler, who did the unthinkable on Saturday night. Not many would have betted on novices City upstaging and upsetting cup specialists SuperSport United in this fashion.
But history was made here when they became the youngest club to lift a trophy in the PSL era.
If anything, City showed that being on top of the log is not a fluke as they transferred their league form to this cup competition. They are also the highest scoring team in the tournament with 12 goals.
They were not at all intimidated by their lack of cup final experience and they looked composed throughout – and deserved the gold medals.
As for United, it was a case of so close, yet so far as they let this one go with some sloppy play.
It seemed United players underestimated their opponents and thought it would be smooth sailing against the less fancied side.
But they got the shock of their lives when Aubrey Ngoma opened the scoring in the 13th minute.
United had to chase the game from then on as they searched for the equaliser.
Although their pressure finally paid off in the 71st minute, when Kingston Nkhatha levelled matters, their celebrations were short-lived as City regained the lead a minute later through super sub Judas Moseamedi.
Then United had to do the chasing again, but this time they could not breach City’s defence as they hung on for their famous victory.
By so doing, City denied Stuart Baxter the chance of becoming the second coach to win all the trophies on offer in the league. He has to wait for another season to try to match Pitso Mosimane’s accolades.
But credit should go to Tinkler, who many regarded as a machancer-chancer. After failing to win anything at Orlando Pirates, Tinkler’s stature is now growing by leaps and bounds in every game City plays.
If there is anyone who deserves a special mention and to be rewarded for a job well done, it has to be the former Bafana anchorman.
Support or not – there was a paltry crowd of about 20 000 at this 45 000-seater venue – this was worthy of a final as the two sets of players went for each other’s throats throughout the proceedings.
It was a good game of football to watch and it had all the elements of a cup final.
The windy and chilly conditions made for good football as the players could not complain of the heat.
But it was hot on the field as everyone worked their socks off – but this is what we should expect when two in-form clubs meet, which was the case here as the two top sides in the Absa Premiership clashed for the R4 million first prize.
Interestingly, the two teams will meet again in a league game on Friday.