Key Players for Saturday’s MTN8 Final

George Lebese and Prince Nxumalo
Cup finals are traditionally tight and tense affairs and can potentially be decided by a moment of a brilliance, or a mistake, by an individual player. takes a look at some of the possible game-breakers as the days tick down to Saturday’s 2015 MTN8 final in Port Elizabeth between Ajax Cape Town and Kaizer Chiefs.

Ajax Cape Town

Prince Nxumalo: The 25-year-old striker has produced goals for Ajax – three in three league games, since signing for the club in August. A lively front-man with good strength, Nxumalo would love to cap his rise back to the PSL after several years in the NFD with a goal against one of the PSL’s giants.

Abbubaker Mobara: Sometimes overlooked in favour of his central defensive partner Rivaldo Coetzee, Mobara is a top quality footballer with electric pace and a fantastic silky touch, especially for a defender. His ability to keep a cool head in defence before setting the Cape side going forward could play an important role. Still only 21, Mobara already has considerable experience and has netted two goals this season.

Nathan Paulse:Not always the most elegant player, but Paulse’s services to the team are often under-rated, and he has a knack for scoring important goals. He may not even start the match, but will provide a great option for coach Roger De Sa off the bench, especially if the game goes into extra time, while he is also a good penalty taker. At 33-years-old, Paulse is nearing the end of his career and would surely like to go out with a bang by picking up some more silverware. Already has two goals in two matches this season.

Kaizer Chiefs

George Lebese: Lebese is one of the form players in South Africa this season, picking up from where he left off last season. The skillfull left-footer has shown great composure in front of goal and already has six goals (three in the league, three in the MTN8) this season from seven matches. The 26-year-old is buzzing at the moment and will surely be a marked man on Saturday, potentially creating space for team-mates as well.

Siphiwe Tshabalala: Tshabalala has been having a fine season, rising to the challenge admirably since being given the captain’s armband, while chipping in with two goals already. His vast experience of cup final football, his ability to dictate play and unlock defences from open or set play should be an asset to Chiefs on Saturday.

Erick Mathoho : The Bafana central defender has been missing from action of late due to a shoulder injury, but the talk is that he could make it back in time for the weekend. If he does, Mathoho’s aerial presence could prove to be a thorn in the side of Ajax who have in the past conceded goals to Chiefs from set-play, there being questions marks about the Cape side’s physical presence at the back.