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COMMENT: Are Cape Town City & SuperSport United slowly becoming rivals in the PSL?

6:21 AM EST 1/27/19
Kaitano Tembo of SuperSport United and Benni McCarthy of Cape Town City
The Citizens came out of nowhere to rival Matsatsantsa in cup finals in recent years which has created a competitive atmosphere between the two teams

Premier Soccer League (PSL) outfit Cape Town City are a club on a rise having established themselves as perennial cup challengers.

The Citizens have remarkably reached three cup finals and clinched two major trophies since the club was established merely three years ago by an astute businessman and football administrator, John Comitis.

By doing so, they have slowly developed a rivalry with local cup specialists, SuperSport United with the two teams having met in two enthralling finals since 2016.

Matsatsantsa have dominated when it comes to South African cup competitions in the last five years - lifting four major trophies during this period, while local giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates struggled.

Their consistency in cup competitions has seen City and SuperSport attract top quality players in the last few seasons as they looked to sustain their success.

SuperSport have been able to sign established players such as Reneilwe Letsholonyane, James Keene, and Evans Rusike, while City reinforced their squad with big-name players like Kermit Erasmus, Teko Modise and Ayanda Patosi.

The management of the two clubs are firm believers in young coaches and their faith in such tacticians has paid off thus far.

Local tactician Eric Tinkler was still a novice when he won the 2016 Telkom Knockout Cup with City after masterminding Matsatsantsa's downfall in the final less than six months into the club's existence.

Tinkler's former Bafana Bafana team-mate and successor, Benni McCarthy then led the team to the 2018 MTN8 Cup triumph with the Citizens defeating SuperSport in the final.

Zimbabwean tactician Kaitano Tembo, who is in his first head coaching job, was part of the team that guided SuperSport to the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup and 2018 MTN8 Cup finals respectively.

The latest encounter between City and SuperSport took place on Saturday in the Nedbank Cup round of 32 encounter, and the match did not disappoint as both teams played fantastic football on the night.

However, it was the Citizens, who emerged victorious continuing their dominance over Matsatsantsa as they secured their fourth successive win over the Tshwane giants in all competitions.

Since the 2016/17 season, the two teams have met 10 times in all competitions with the Citizens winning five matches compared to Matsatsantsa's two, while three games ended in a draw.

McCarthy, who has impressed in his maiden coaching job, is undefeated against SuperSport having guided the Citizens to four consecutive wins over the five-time Nedbank Cup winners.

SuperSport snapped up the Citizens' first coach Tinkler at the end of the 2016/17 campaign which added spice to matches between the two teams.

With Matsatsantsa have struggled at times under Tembo this season especially in the PSL, it won't come as a surprise if the club considers replacing him with McCarthy.

This would surely create an even more competitive atmosphere between the two teams.