Cape Town – SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has praised his opponent for Saturday's MTN8 final, Benni McCarthy, for improving Cape Town City over the last year.
The match at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium will be a repeat of last year's final, which Matsatsantsa won on penalties after a 1-1 draw. At the time, Eric Tinkler was in charge of SuperSport United, while McCarthy was new on the City bench.
According to Tembo, who was serving as Tinkler's assistant when SuperSport lifted the trophy last year, the former FC Porto striker's side has progressed in leaps and bounds since then.
"It's always hard to prepare against Cape Town City. All the cup finals they have played have been against us," Tembo said, as quoted by SowetanLIVE.
"You can see the trend that we've been meeting each other in cup finals, and it's going to be a tough game.
"City have improved from last year's final. I think Benni McCarthy has done a wonderful job. They are a good team now.
"They are more organised, they play good possession, good buildup from the back, and they've also got speed up-front."
Despite their heartbreak last year, City do have some positive history to draw encouragement from: in 2016, they beat SuperSport 2-1 in the Telkom Knockout final at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
However, McCarthy and Tembo will be fighting for what will be a first trophy as head coach for either of the two bosses.
Kick-off is at 19:00.