Times Media Digital gives a club-by-club guide to the fortunes of the 16 Premier Soccer League teams in this competition.
AJAX CAPE TOWN
Ajax are four-time finalists‚ winning two of those‚ including a famous success over Orlando Pirates on the 2000 decider.
The final finished 1-1‚ which necessitated a replay that a young Ajax team‚ who had only been existence for a little over a year‚ claimed 4-1.
Carlo Scott bagged a brace of goals.
Ajax beat Pirates again 2-1 in the 2008 final‚ but lost to Platinum Stars (2006) and Kaizer Chiefs (2009) as well.
Baroka will be making their debut in the Telkom Knockout after winning promotion to the top-flight for the first time at the end of last season.
They do already have a rich cup history though having twice been semifinalists in the Nedbank Cup – in 2011 and 2016.
Wits were twice finalists in the early years of the competition when it was known as the Datsun Challenge‚ losing to Chiefs 2-1 in the 1983 decider (the second year of competition)‚ but gaining their revenge over AmaKhosi the following year with a 2-1 success in a replayed final after the teams had been locked at 2-2 on aggregate following the first two legs.
Wits also beat Pirates 1-0 in the 1995 final‚ but were beaten 3-1 by The Buccaneers in the 2011 decider.
Celtic claimed their only success in the Telkom Knockout with victory in the 2012 final over Mamelodi Sundowns. Clinton Larsen’s side won that game 1-0.
They have exited in the first round every year since then though.
CAPE TOWN CITY
City are playing in the competition for the first time since the formation of the club earlier this year following the purchase of Mpumalanga Black Aces’ top-flight status.
They have enjoyed some success in knockout football this season already‚ beating Chiefs 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the MTN8‚ before losing 3-0 on aggregate to Wits in the semifinals.
Chippa will be appearing in the Telkom Knockout for the fourth time and have yet to win a game.
But each of their Last 16 conquerors in the previous three entries have all gone on to either win the title‚ or make the final at least.
Celtic (2012) and Sundowns (2015) lifted the trophy‚ while Platinum Stars (2014) lost in the decider to SuperSport United.
FREE STATE STARS
Ea Lla Koto are previous champions of the Telkom Knockout competition after beating Hellenic 3-2 in the 1994 decider.
The club was known as QwaQwa Stars in those days.
They appeared again in the final two years later‚ but lost 1-0 in a replay after the first game against Umtata Bush Bucks finished in a 1-1 draw.
Stars’ last final appearance was in 1999 when they lost again‚ this time 2-0 to Sundowns.
LAMONTVILLE GOLDEN ARROWS
Golden Arrows have not enjoyed much success in the Telkom Knockout down the years‚ with their best finish a semifinal place in 2011 when they lost 3-1 to their 2016 Last 16 opponents‚ Pirates.
They have 10 wins from their 27 matches in the competition to date.
This version of the Highlands Park club will be making their debut in the Telkom Knockout competition‚ though a previous incarnation of the Gauteng team were in the very first final in 1982.
There they lost 2-0 in a replay to Arcadia Shepherds after the first match was drawn‚ but soon afterwards the club’s status was sold to Jomo Sono to form Jomo Cosmos.
Chiefs have completely dominated the Telkom Knockout tournament down the years‚ with 13 wins from 17 finals appearances.
They have appeared in exactly half the finals played so far‚ with the next most decorated team being Sundowns‚ with just three wins.
Chiefs have found the going a little tougher of late though‚ their 3-1 final defeat to Sundowns last season was their first final appearance since 2010‚ the longest barren run the club had in the competition.
Chiefs are the only club to retain the Telkom Knockout trophy‚ something they have managed on five occasions – 1983 & 1984‚ 1988 & 1989‚ 1997 & 1998‚ 2003 & 2004‚ 2009 & 2010.
The latter two finals were actually played in the same year‚ 2010‚ due to the reshuffle of the PSL season to accommodate Bafana Bafana’s World Cup preparations.
Defending champions Sundowns were emphatic 3-1 winners in last season’s final in Durban against Chiefs‚ despite giving away two penalties.
That ended a run of 16 years without lifting the title‚ with their previous success being the 1999 victory over Free State Stars.
Their only other title came in 1990 when they beat Pirates 2-1 on aggregate in the two-legged decider.
They also lost in the final in 1997‚ 1998 and 2007‚ all to Chiefs‚ as well as in 2012 to Celtic.
Maritzburg have been dumped out of the Telkom Knockout in the first round in seven of their 10 appearances in the competition.
They did make the semifinals in 2010‚ but lost 3-0 to Pirates‚ and the quarterfinals in 2012 and 2015‚ losing to SuperSport United and Pirates respectively.
The Telkom Knockout has not been kind to Pirates down the years with eight final appearances and only one success‚ when they defeated Wits 3-1 in the 2011 decider.
It has otherwise been a tale of woe as they suffered defeats to Durban Bush Bucks (1987)‚ Sundowns (1990)‚ Wits (1995)‚ Ajax (2000‚ 2008)‚ Chiefs (2010) and Platinum Stars (2013).
Last year they were beaten on penalties by Chiefs in the semifinals after a 0-0 draw.
Stars have punched well above their weight in this competition having claimed the title twice from four final appearances.
Those success came in 2006‚ when a Simba Marumo hat-trick stunned Ajax 3-1‚ and in 2013 when Mogakolodi Ngele came off the bench to score twice in a 2-1 success over Pirates.
They also made the final in their first season after promotion to the top-flight‚ but lost 2-0 to Chiefs in 2003.
They were also finalists two years ago‚ but lost 3-2 to SuperSport in one of the best South African cup finals yet.
City have lost all three of their appearances in the Telkom Knockout so far and will be seeking a first quarterfinal appearance this year.
They were humbled 3-0 by Chiefs in the Last 16 in 2013‚ before going down 2-1 to Pirates a year later‚ by the same scoreline to SuperSport in 2015.
They will face Sundowns in this year’s competition.
SuperSport’s victory in 2014‚ just months after Gordon Igesund took charge of the team‚ saw them claim the Telkom Knockout trophy for the first time after back-to-back final disappointments a decade earlier under Pitso Mosimane.
They lost 1-0 to Chiefs in the 2004 final‚ before being stunned 4-1 on penalties by Jomo Cosmos a year later after the teams had played to a 1-1 draw.
Those demons were finally exorcised by their 3-2 win against Platinum Stars. - TMG Digital