Despite booking a slot in the MTN8 semi-finals by beating Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) 3-2 at Thohoyandou Stadium in the quarter-finals at the weekend, SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo isn’t tempted to think too far ahead, downplaying their chances of retaining this title.
Aided by a spirited first-half performance, SuperSport managed to sneak past newcomers Tshakhuma thanks to first period goals from Bradley Grobler, Iqraam Rayners and Ghampani Lungu. Mogakolodi Ngele netted a brace that ended as mere consolation for the Venda side.
The victory meant Matsatsantsa are now a step closer to defending their Wafa Wafa trophy. However, Tembo maintained they can’t afford to think beyond the semifinals.
“We’ve got to take it one game at a time. Our main objective today (on Saturday) was to get to the semifinals and after that we can start preparing for the semi-finals, but we want to take it one game at a time, that’s what has been our approach,’’ said Tembo.
“This (win against TTM) gives us the opportunity to defend the trophy, so we’re looking forward to the semifinals.’’
The SuperSport coach also didn’t shy away from the reality that they struggled in the second half, commending his side’s first-half display.
“We had a very good start, scored three good goals. We were adventurous going forward in the first half. But second-half, it was a little bit different . . . they came at us. They had nothing to lose, they had to throw everyone forward — that made it difficult for us,’’ said Tembo. He also revealed that the club have a special programme in place to help new signing Lucky Mohomi regain full fitness, having not played in a while.
“With Lucky, we knew when we signed him that he’s someone who hasn’t played for a very long time. There’s still a lot of work we need to put in. Giving him 45 minutes is part of the plan to bring him up to speed and we have a programme already for him,’’ Tembo explained.
Against TTM, midfielder Mohomi — who joined from cross time rivals Mamelodi Sundowns on a one-year deal with an option to extend by a further year — played the entire second-half after replacing Thamsanqa Gabuza. – Sowetan