All systems go for 2015 Telkom Knockout

The time for ‘unlimited celebration’ is nearly here as South African football fans gear up for the most exciting football festival of the year in the Telkom Knockout.

The Last 16 matches in South Africa’s favourite domestic knockout competition get under way this week with some interesting fixtures to look forward to that will have fans on the edge of their seats from Wednesday, 30 September.

Supporter engagement with the Telkom Knockout competition has always been huge, both on social media platforms and in stadium on match day.

Fan engagement will be taken to a whole new level as supporters get the chance to show their passion for teams and win great prizes from Telkom for the best pieces of banter at games.

The Last 16 action gets under way on Wednesday night as Polokwane City host SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium (19h30). Supporters of Matsatsantsa are also seeking some cheer after three defeats in a row, but will no doubt rally behind their side as they look to defend the Telkom Knockout title they won last season.

Platinum Stars fans will have plenty to crow about when they welcome Kaizer Chiefs to the Moruleng Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 15h00). Not only are Dikwena top of the league and unbeaten this season, but they have also defeated Chiefs in three of the last four years of the Telkom Knockout, including when they won the trophy in 2013.

Coach Cavin Johnson’s side are playing with flair and are among the leading scorers in this campaign. Stars supporters are sure to have a few good-natured words too for Chiefs coach Steve Komphela, who was in charge of Dikwena for the 2009/10 PSL season and now finds himself in arguably the hottest seat in South African club football.

Sunday will be another massive clash as Bloemfontein Celtic host Mpumalanga Black Aces at the Free State Stadium (15h00). This is a meeting between the teams placed second and third in the league table and has all the makings of a classic. Celtic fans are often described as the best in the country for the way they rally behind their team and show their support through song and dance, creating a special atmosphere. They will be keen to get one over their Black Aces counterparts, who have found new fire under coach Muhsin Ertugral this season.

Mamelodi Sundowns will be looking at adding the Telkom Knockout trophy to their cabinet when they take on Chippa United.

Free State Stars and Bidvest Wits played to an entertaining 0-0 draw in the league on Saturday and will have an immediate chance for a rematch when they clash at the same Goble Park venue on Saturday afternoon (15h00). Stars have been a resurgent force under new coach Ernst Middendorp, bringing smiles back to the faces of their fans.

Fans of both Maritzburg United and Jomo Cosmos will be seeking some cheer when the sides that fill the bottom two places in the league clash on Friday night (20h00). Neither side have managed a win so far this season, so someone will be left smiling by the end of the game.

Orlando Pirates are chasing silverware on a couple of fronts after their magnificent run to the semifinals of the CAF Confederation Cup, which has meant their Last 16 clash against University of Pretoria has been moved to October 16 at the Orlando Stadium (20h00). AmaTuks have found the going tough so far this campaign but as they showed when holding Kaizer Chiefs to a draw earlier this month, it can be a match for anybody.