Match winners – top performers in Carling Knockout finals

You are currently viewing Match winners – top performers in Carling Knockout finals
  • Post published:October 21, 2023

The Carling Knockout is back on the South African football calendar with seven more first round games to be played between Friday and Sunday.

There have been many final heroes down the years in the competition’s various guises, players who have written their name into the history books with outstanding displays.

Julius was already famous in local football circles having been the first non-white player to feature in the whites only league when he turned out for Arcadia in 1976, and then became the first man to score in a final of what is now the Carling Knockout. Julius netted after 27 minutes in a replay of the 1982 encounter with Highlands Park as Arcadia went on to win 2-0 and become the first champions.

Kaizer Chiefs have been the undisputed kings of the carling Knockout with 13 titles, more than three times the next best club Mamelodi Sundowns, who have four. Their very first win came in 1983 as they defeated Wits University in the final, but it took a 119th minute winner from Maponyane to seal the win at Ellis Park. Always the man for the big occasion he popped up to break Wits hearts.

AmaZulu stunned the much more fancied Kaizer Chiefs 3-1 after extra-time of the 1992 final, defeating an AmaKhosi team that was at the peak of their powers. Others may have got the goals, but it was keeper Biemba who kept Usuthu in the contents with a string of top saves to mostly keep Chiefs at bay. He was in inspired form that day.

Bunene Ngaduane scored twice to get Stars to extra-time against Hellenic in the 1994 final, but it was Tsotetsi who finished it off with the winning goal to give the club who would go on to be known as Free State Stars the title in 1994. He would go on to be a stalwart of the side over several seasons.

Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates played to a 1-1 draw in the first running of their 2000 final and the latter were expected to romp home in the second game against a young Urban Warriors outfit. But after striker Carlo Scott scored twice inside the first 10 minutes of the replay, Ajax romped home to a 4-1 victory to stun the Soweto giants. These two sides meet in this year’s first round, though the 2000 winners are now known as Cape Town Spurs.

He now goes by the surname Mahlangu, but when he first broke onto the scene, Pule was a joy to watch with his trickery on the ball and eye for goal. He scored two goals in the 2001 final as Kaizer Chiefs overwhelmed Jomo Cosmos 5-0, and was generally a thorn in the side of Ezenkosi for the full 90 minutes.

Marumo had a spell as a youngster with Inter Milan, so was a player of some pedigree, and he showed that as he scored a hattrick in the 3-1 victory for Silver Stars over Ajax in the 2006 decider. He was deadly that day and might have achieved much more in the game were it not for persistent injuries. He was a superb attacker.

Scoring in a Soweto Derby is always special, but to do it twice in a cup final and come out on the right side of the result is truly special. Ngcobo is not exactly a Chiefs legend, but he netted the opening two goals as they thumped bitter rivals Orlando Pirates 3-0 in the final of the 2010 competition to write his name into the history books.

Cape Town City were only a few months old as a club when they meet SuperSport United in the decider in 2016, and came out on top in a tight contest. Kingston Nkhatha had equalised for SuperSport minutes before when Moseamedi popped up to bundle the ball home and make history for the Mother City club. He was not a prolific scorer, but often came up with important goals.

Moseamedi also scored in the final of the 2019 competition for Maritzburg United, but it was a double from Mamelodi Sundowns’ Uruguayan forward Affonso that won the day for his side. His stay at Chloorkop was blighted by injury, and this was most certainly the highlight as he was superb on the day.

Photo by Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix