MTN8 - Competition Facts

This will be the 11th edition of the MTN8 tournament after sponsors MTN took over from SAA in 2008.

It was announced in 2016 that MTN has extended their sponsorship of the competition for a further six years to 2022.

The winners of this year’s tournament will once again pocket R8-million, the richest prize money in South African cup football. The other seven competing sides will take home R800,000.

This will be the 44th installment of the MTN8 competition since the first event was staged in 1972. It has been played every year bar 1997-1999 when it fell off the South African football calendar.

Kaizer Chiefs are the most successful club in MTN8 history with 15 victories from 21 final appearances. Their previous win was in 2014 when a first half goal from Tefu Mashamaite gave them a 1-0 victory over Soweto rivals Orlando Pirates. Pirates are the next most successful side with nine title triumphs from 15 finals.

With 27 tournament wins, Soweto is the most successful city in the MTN8. Their successes are shared by Kaizer Chiefs (15), Orlando Pirates (nine) and Moroka Swallows (three).

Six finals have gone to extra-time, two involving Kaizer Chiefs (one win, one loss) and two involving Orlando Pirates (both won). The others were between Jomo Cosmos and Moroka Swallows and was won 3-2 by Ezenkosi, and last year when SuperSport United defeated Cape Town City in a penalty shoot-out.

Only five finals have gone to penalty shoot-outs:
2001 Kaizer Chiefs 2-2 Mamelodi Sundowns [aet; Chiefs won 7-6 on pens]
2008 Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Mamelodi Sundowns [aet, Chiefs won 4-3 on pens]
2010 Orlando Pirates 1-1 Moroka Swallows [aet, Pirates won 4-2 on pens]
2013 Platinum Stars 1-1 Orlando Pirates [aet, Stars won 3-1 on pens]
2017 SuperSport United 1-1 Cape Town City [aet, United won 4-2 on pens]

Two finals have gone to replays:
1988 Mamelodi Sundowns 1-1 / 1-1 Arcadia [Sundowns won replay 1-0]
1996 Orlando Pirates 1-1 Qwa Qwa Stars [Pirates won replay 3-0]

Lamontville Golden Arrows’ 6-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town in the 2009 decider is not only the biggest winning margin in an MTN8 final, but also in all domestic cup final matches in South African football history.

The most goals scored in a single top eight match is five by David Dolo for Moroka Swallows as they overwhelmed Winter Roses 11-1 in the 1975 first round.

There have not always been eight teams in the top eight competition. The league experimented with expanding the competition and in 1975 there were 16 teams, in 1979 there were 17 and in 1976 there were 32.

Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are the only sides to retain the top eight trophy. Chiefs managed it in 1981-1982 and 1991-1992. Pirates managed it in 2010-2011. They did win the trophy in 1996 and 2000, when there were no tournaments in between.

The record score in the MTN8 competition is an 11-1 win for Moroka Swallows over amateurs Winter Roses in the expanded edition in 1975.

In 1974, there were two top eight competitions. The first was played in January and then there was another at the end of the season.

The first ever penalty shootout in the tournament came in 1976 when amateurs Malimo from Welkom upset Bloemfontein Celtic 4-2 on spot-kicks after a 1-1 draw in the opening round. The record penalty shootout score is 9-8 in favour of Dynamos over Swallows in their 1981 semi-final replay.

There have been three cup final hat tricks in the competition’s history – Ace Ntsoelengoe for Chiefs against AmaZulu in 1976, Marks Maponyane for Chiefs against Rangers in 1987 and Phil Masinga for Jomo Cosmos against Chiefs in 1991, when despite his three goals he still finished on the losing side.

Three own goals were scored in the final when Arcadia beat Wits in the first leg of the 1986 final in Durban, including a spectacular diving header into his own net by Arcs’ centre back Dave Bukowski.

The only time the two legs of the final ended tied and the competition needed a final replay was in 1988 when Sundowns edged out neighbours Arcadia, in match not allowed in Pretoria but played instead at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg.

Current champions SuperSport United are the only team to appear in every season of the MTN8 competition since the launch of the PSL in the 1996/97 campaign. Matsatsantsa have yet to finish outside of the top half of the table.

City are the third club in the MTN8 era to appear in back-to-back finals. Orlando Pirates have managed it twice (2010 & 2011 and 2013 & 2014), and Kaizer Chiefs once before (2014 & 2015).