Arguably Chiefs’ most influential player in recent seasons has been Zimbabwean defensive midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha, who was rested for the weekend’s Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates at King's Park because he was on two yellow cards.
“I gave it a lot of thought prior to the game and it bugged me that I could miss the final,” Nengomasha told the Chiefs website. “So when I was given an option I felt that being cautious and not missing the Cup Final would be the better road to travel down.”
The classy midfielder will have needed all the rest he can get, as a he faces a tough battle against countryman Esrom Nyandoro in midfield on Saturday, along with Sundowns’ other classy middle-men such as Jorge Acuna, Godfrey Sapula (if declared fit) and Surprise Moriri.
“I am fortunate in that these extra days of rest will count in my favor.
“I have had the opportunity to start thinking about the Cup Final way before every one else. That means I have no excuse but to put on a great showing on Saturday,” Nengomasha said.
Chiefs fans would have been happy to see right-wing David Mathebula return from injury (after knee surgery) as a substitute in the 2-2 draw against Pirates. But key left-wing Siphiwe Tshabalala was risked despite having a muscle strain and looked out of sorts playing just the first 45 minutes.