Johannesburg – With the MTN8 final between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu set to be the last game of the first half of the season, heroes and losers could be born.
And that’s why IOL's football writer Mihlali Baleka goes down memory lane, looking at his best five heroes from the Wafa Wafa Cup Final in recent years.
Njabulo Manqana – Golden Arrows
Manqana was the hero for Arrows in their 6-0 drubbing of Ajax in the 2009 final at Orlando Stadium as the Durban-based side roared to the crown.
Manqana scored a brace on the day. But it was his second goal, dubbed the ‘snake and spin strike’, that put the icing on the cake for Abafana Bes'thende.
Oupa Manyisa – Orlando Pirates
After winning the 2010 edition of the MTN8 under Ruud Krol, Pirates were favourites to retain their title in 2011, and they duly stuck to the script.
A solo long-range strike from Manyisa beat Kaizer Chiefs’ Itumeleng Khune in goal to hand coach Julio Leal his first trophy as Pirates coach.
Tefu Mashamaite – Kaizer Chiefs
After enduring their first barren season under coach Stuart Baxter during the 2013/14 season, Chiefs needed to redeem themselves in the Brit’s last term.
And they did so in style, avenging their loss to Orlando Pirates in 2011, as captain Mashamaite won the Wafa Wafa crown for Amakhosi in Durban.
Daine Klate – Bidvest Wits
Retired attacker Klate is one of the most successful footballers in the history of South African football, having won multiple trophies, including six league titles.
But one of his best performances was against Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2016 final as Wits beat the Brazilians 3-0 with Klate scoring a brace.
Thamsanqa Gabuza – SuperSport United
Gabuza might have not scored in the last MTN8 final before Covid-19, but his sacrifice and work rate against Highlands Park duly won him the Man of the Match award.
Prior to the game, Gabuza had made a huge sacrifice, deciding not to tell the team about the death of his son while he missed the funeral as well.