Matsatsantsa looking to hand TKO defending champs an early exit

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Fresh off an imposing MTN8 triumph a fortnight ago, SuperSport United now have their attention set on laying their hands on the next gong on offer as they take on defending champions Baroka FC in the opening round of the Telkom Knockout at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday evening.

In Baroka, United meet a side that defied the odds last year by clinching this competition against Orlando Pirates and United mentor Kaitano Tembo assures his lads will utilise the home ground advantage and pass the assignment.

The past week saw domestic football pause for the FIFA break and Matsatsantsa were without five of their players as Ronwen Williams, Dean Furman and Bradley Grobler turned out for Bafana whilst sensational youngsters Jamie Webber and Sipho Mbule traveled to Egypt with the Under 23’s.

More often teams go into a slump soon after winning a title and Tembo says he used the recess to reshape his players’ mindsets and get them to quickly snap out of their celebratory mood.

Despite reaching the final on four occasions, SuperSport have only won the Telkom Knockout title once, when they defeated Platinum Stars 3-2 at the Orlando Stadium in 2014.

They exited the last edition in the quarter-final stage, losing 1-0 to Kaizer Chiefs and have in total played 55 matches in the competition in the PSL era, winning 26 of those to go with 10 draws and 19 defeats.

They have scored 71 goals in that time and conceded 62. – Report by Tumi Gabonamong