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Carling Knockout Cup Semi Final Preview: Stellenbosch FC and TS Galaxy Enter KZN Cauldrons
- The Carling Knockout Cup returns with no clear favourite among the four semi-finalists
- Richards Bay host Stellenbosch FC while TS Galaxy travel to Durban to meet Amazulu
- The four teams will be playing for a place in the final and a grand total of R9.6 million
Few occasions match the anticipation and tension of cup football. All the traditional big names have been thrown aside, leaving four teams knowing one of them has a historic moment ahead.
Of the four semi-finalists, only Stellenbosch FC are in the top half of the DStv Premiership but as the old cliche goes, form is irrelevant in cup competitions.
Each semi-final will be played on separate days, allowing the neutrals to bask in the full glory of each team.
Richards Bay vs Stellenbosch FC
King Zwelintini Stadium, December 2 at 3pm
These two met just a month ago, with Stellenbosch winning the league encounter 2-1 down in the Cape.
Stellies coach, Steve Barker has said before that this competition is a priority for them, so expect a fully focused and motivated squad from the outset.
They will certainly back themselves to score, as the last time The Maroons failed to get on the scoresheet was in mid-September, and in this competition, they scored twice against both Chippa United and Polokwane City.
Richards Bay's defence has been leaky in the league but when tasked with an objective, they have carried it out with success, as seen in their last league fixture with Orlando Pirates and their quarter-final against the same team.
Going forward is certainly a problem, as they have the least amount of goals of any club in the top division. Expect Natal Rich Boys to man the trenches and take the game deep with the hope of a penalty shootout repeat.
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Amazulu FC vs TS Galaxy
Moses Mabhida Stadium, December 3 at 3pm
Amazulu are yet to concede in the competition, having dispatched Kaizer Chefs and Golden Arrows, while The Rockets are coming off a rout of Polokwane City.
However, Galaxy will be up against a team in a very different head-space in Pablo Martin's Usuthu. Amazulu may have only won one of their last five league games, but have turned up when needed in this competition.
The teams played at the same venue in the opening weeks of the league, with Amazulu earning a 1-0 win, but the Spaniard has slowly moulded his team since then.
This tie has all the elements of a classic, with both clubs wanting to prove their cup pedigree, itching to get their hands on a trophy.
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Carling Knockout Cup Prize Money breakdown
When the competition was launched, Sports Brief reported on the Carling Knockout Cup prize money.
The winners of the competition will earn a collective R9.6mil, R6.6mil of that coming from the final alone.
The fan-voted Man of the Match prize is in play, as is the Fak'iGoal Uzobono goal predictor competition.