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MTN8: Kaitano Tembo vs Pitso Mosimane: Student against mentor

11:26 AM EDT 8/30/19
Kaitano Tembo, coach of SuperSport United with Pitso Mosimane, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, July 2019
A look at the history between Tembo and Mosimane ahead of their teams' clash in the Tshwane Derby

It will be a date between the student and his teacher when SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo meets Pitso Mosimane of Mamelodi Sundowns on Sunday.

United are scheduled to host their Tshwane rivals Sundowns in a crucial MTN8 semi-final first-leg match at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Retired defender Tembo will come face to face with his mentor, Mosimane and Goal takes a look at the history between the two tacticians.

Success At SuperSport United

When Mosimane began his coaching career at SuperSport in 2001, Tembo was already part of the club's squad having joined Matsatsantsa in 1999 from Seven Stars (now known as Ajax Cape Town).

Mosimane, who became the youngest coach in the PSL at the age of 31, transformed the Tshwane side into one of the top teams in the country as they constantly challenged for trophies.

Tembo excelled under Mosimane and he understood the Kagiso-born coach's philosophy. The former Zimbabwe international was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the team as club captain.

The retired defender did not disappoint as he led Matsatsantsa to the SAA Supa 8 and Absa Cup titles with the team also finishing second in the PSL twice.

End Of SuperSport United Era

Tembo retired from professional football in 2006 having learned a lot under the mentorship of Mosimane as he was his right-hand man on the field of play.

While the former Dynamos FC player focused on his coaching progress, Mosimane parted ways with SuperSport in 2007 in order to serve as Bafana Bafana assistant coach on a full-time basis as a reward for his success at Matsatsantsa.

Tembo worked as SuperSport U19 coach before being promoted to the first team where he served as the assistant coach under accomplished tacticians Gavin Hunt and Stuart Baxter.

On the other hand, Mosimane had a spell as Bafana head coach between 2010-2012 before he was fired. He then returned to club football when he took charge of Sundowns a few months after leaving the national team job.

Becoming Rivals

Tembo got his big break when Eric Tinkler resigned as SuperSport head coach in March 2018. Tembo was appointed caretaker coach and ensured the team finished in the top eight.

The 49-year-old tactician was rewarded with a two-year deal ahead of the 2018/19 season and he guided the Tshwane giants to the 2018 MTN8 final where they narrowly lost to Cape Town City.

He is now looking to eliminate his mentor from the same Cup competition, but it will be a difficult task because Mosimane has established himself as one of the best coaches in the PSL era.

This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams since Tembo took over the reins at SuperSport with Sundowns having recorded two wins compared to Matsatsantsa's one victory.

Tembo will be keen to prove he learned from the best by beating his own teacher on Sunday and level up their head-to-head record.