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Thamsanqa Gabuza puts aside personal tragedy to win MTN8 final

Gabuza revealed after the game that he lost his son in the build-up to the clash but didn’t tell the team in order to keep the focus on the match against Highlands Park.

Thamsanqa Gabuzaat the MTN8 final. Picture: @SuperSportFC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - SuperSport United coach Kaitano Tembo has praised Thamsanqa Gabuza for his bravery after the team secured the MTN8 title.

Gabuza revealed after the game that he lost his son in the build-up to the clash but didn’t tell the team in order to keep the focus on the match against Highlands Park.

After securing the trophy, courtesy of a 1-0 win, Tembo had this to say on his inspirational striker.

“He lost his son on Monday and he never told anyone,” an emotional Tembo said at a post-match press conference. “The funeral was on Thursday, he never attended. He only told us in the dressing room now. He didn’t want to upset the camp because we were facing a very crucial game”.

Captain Dean Furman admits that it will be a long road to recovery for the striker, but the team will be there to support him.

“Incredibly emotional actually,” he reflected. “No one expected it and it was a very emotional moment. What we’ve built up here at SuperSport is a team who is very close. So for us as teammates, as brothers, as his friend, we’ve just got to remain around him, support him and his family”.

The MTN8 title win sees Matsatsantsa clinch a second trophy in three years in the competition, as they also pocket the R8 million prize money.

With the team in sixth place on the Absa Premiership log, Furman wasn’t them to carry on their winning momentum into the league.

“It’s nice, we can celebrate and enjoy this victory,” he said. “When the league comes back around, it’s vital we maintain our push because we want to have a big season. We want to be pushing for top 3”.

For Highlands, it’s back to the drawing board as their wait for a trophy continues.

Coach Owen da Gama insist that there was never any pressure on his players to win the trophy but adds they need to do a post mortem analysis of their performance.

“What I liked about the boys is that they were very disappointed and that is a good sign to me,” da Gama said.

“We’ve got one and a half weeks to pick them up. We’ve got to start again. Get back to the drawing board and try to fix up where we can and try and learn from this experience”.

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