Johannesburg — The semi-final of the DStv Compact Cup will get underway on Saturday with Coastal United set to lock horns with Dinaledi while Warriors will square off with Amabutho.
Below, IOL Sport’s Mihlali Baleka takes a look at five players that could rise up to the occasion and impress fans around the country.
Keagan Dolly – Warriors
The Kaizer Chiefs’ midfielder enjoyed a fruitful return to local football last year following a torrid outing at French Ligue 1 side Montpellier. He was so good to an extent that he was also recalled to the national team set-up by coach Hugo Broos.
Dolly will be eager to continue where he left off last year by also standing out in the Viewers’ Choice Cup. And that’s why he’ll have to ensure that he’s at his best when it comes to dribbling, making runs, decision-making and passing accuracy.
Tebogo Mokoena – Dinaledi
Mokoena is arguably one of the most sought-after midfielders in the top-flight. He’s been a colossal figure for both SuperSport United and Bafana. And that’s why it was no brainer that the supporters drafted him into the starting Xl of Dinaledi.
Mokoena, though, will know that he can’t take his growth for granted. He has to continue getting better with each game. His ability to convert set-pieces, stabilise the midfield and link up defence with attack will be key for his side, Dinaledi.
Thabo Nodada – Coastal United
Nodada has grown in leaps and bounds over the years. His consistency has ensured that Cape Town City are one of the teams to beat in the top-flight - despite the club being re-established only five-and-a-half years ago by John Comitis.
Nodada’s rise has also caught the eye of the big three clubs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. He’s stood head and shoulders above the rest due to his drive, passes and runs with and without the ball.
Siyethemba Sithebe – Amabutho
The dreadlocked midfielder could be out of competitive football for the rest of the season after AmaZulu's president Sandile Zungu confirmed that he’s requested to leave the club for greener pastures – amid interest from various clubs.
Sithebe is a good passer of the ball that also has a knack for goal. But he’s not a complete player, considering that he struggles in defence. However, it’s competitions such as the Viewers’ Cup that will help him to develop his game further.
Itumeleng Khune – Warriors
After being overlooked at Kaizer Chiefs for the better part of the first half of the season, Khune will get a chance to stand between the sticks in the Viewers’ Cup. And that should serve as a motivation - given that he’s still valued by the supporters.
Khune’s form might have tremendously dropped in the last few seasons due to injuries but he’s still got what it takes to fight for the No. 1 jersey at Amakhosi. He still excels in ball distribution but he has to work on his reflexes as well.