The inaugural Carling Knockout round of 16 matches brought unrivalled energy to South African football- entertaining millions with displays filled with drama and lots of goals.
The opening rounds of the tournament shook up South African football and brought to life the slogan of Fak’ uGesi -bringing the energy and leading to thrilling and unexpected results.
The champion fans aren’t just bystanders this time around, they are empowered through innovative mechanics from Carling Black Label in partnership with the PSL-which will run for the duration of the tournament.
Carling Black Label has been spearheading fan engagement in South African football for over twelve (12) years, giving champion fans the unprecedented power to have their voices heard in the biggest game in the South African football calendar since 2011, through the Carling Black Label Cup.
This year, the iconic champion beer brand took innovation to a whole new level and gave lovers of the beautiful game even more power through exciting new mechanics. These range from voting for your Carling All-Stars for the Carling Cup on the 6th January 2024 to Fak’ iGoal Uzobona.Fans are also able to vote for the Man of the Match during the match (no pack purchase required) which goes with a R100 000 cheque to the winning player in every match.
This empowering innovation was welcomed by the players and coaches. “It is amazing what the launch has done to the players. I got a very rude awakening when we were training. I could feel some energy amongst the players and the physiotherapist said to me, ‘This is what you get when you win (R100 000 for) Man of the Match’,” said Moroka Swallows coach Steve Komphela.
The former Bafana Bafana coach praised the innovation. “If I were to go into a R100 000 match myself, it would show and it starts from training, from the preparation. The innovation from Carling Black Label is starting to get in and there are lots of benefits in the competition,” he said.
TS Galaxy’s Mlungisi Mbunjana, Orlando Pirates’ Thembinkosi Lorch, Khanyisa Mayo of Cape Town City, Iqraam Rayners of Stellenbosch FC, Kaizer Chiefs’ Keagan Dolly, Jamie Webber of Sekhukhune United, Moroka Swallows’ Andile Jali as well as Ndumiso Mabena from Polokwane City each were voted for the Man of the Match awards – seeing thousands of votes logged during the last 16 round.
TS Galaxy not only recorded the biggest upset of the Carling Knockout round, beating Mamelodi Sundowns at Mbombela Stadium, they also scored the fastest goal of the last 16 after just 13 minutes. This meant the Rockets and one lucky fan won R77 000 through the Fak’ iGoal Uzobona innovation. Loosely translated as Score a Goal and See, the innovation is aimed at encouraging early goals in the tournament.
To participate in ‘Fak’ iGoal Uzobona’, Champions fans simply need to guess the minute and the scoring team of the first goal through a free voting process before the match. 1 lucky fan that guesses correctly will walk away with the prize money remaining in each match.
The great rewards will continue into the Quarterfinals. The draw for the lasteight round was conducted at TUT Stadium on Sunday, after the clash between Supersport United and Polokwane City, setting up four mouthwatering clashes.
Polokwane City will host Stellenbosch FC while TS Galaxy will visit Sekhukhune United. Richards Bay FC will face Orlando Pirates,whilst AmaZulu will square off with Lamontville Golden Arrows in the Durban derby.
The Carling Knockout Final will be played on the 16th December 2023, followed by the new-look Carling Black Label Cup set to take place at The New Peter Mokaba Stadium on 6th January 2024. The winner of the Carling Knockout will face a Carling All-Star team made up of players from the 15 other teams. The starting XI of the Carling All-Stars, which will be selected by champion fans, will feature six players from the Premiership clubs and five from the Diski Challenge to give up-and-coming talent an opportunity to shine on a big stage.
Voting for the Carling All-Star team will be open until the 21st of December 2023. Champion fans can vote for their favourite players by simply purchasing a promo 750ml or 500ml Carling Black Label, dialing *120*660# and following the on-screen prompts.. Fans can also vote on the website; www.carlingblacklabelcup.co.za Ts&Cs apply, USSD 20c/20s.