Cape Town - Orlando Pirates and Ajax Cape Town will kick
start the 2015/16 domestic season when they meet in the MTN8 quarterfinals.
Pirates were runners-up in the MTN8 last season, eliminating
SuperSport United 2-1 and Bidvest Wits 5-1 on aggregate in the quarter- and
semifinals respectively before falling 1-0 in the final to arch rivals Kaizer
The Buccaneers had a difficult season in which they finished
just fourth on the league table [a full 19 points off the pace of champions
Chiefs] and failed to pick up any silverware.
However, the tragic death of
Senzo Meyiwa and the departure of Vladimir Vermezovic provided mitigating
circumstances for their troubles last term.
Eric Tinkler took over from Vermezovic in late 2014 and has
done a fine job in stabilising the team and seeing them through to the group
stage of the CAF Confederation Cup - a feat which means Bucs have essentially
not had any kind of off season.
As for Ajax, they are returning to the MTN8 for the first
time since 2011. The Cape Town side finished a creditable fifth on the league
table last season, and finished runners-up in the Nedbank Cup after losing to
Mamelodi Sundowns on penalties in the final.
In head-to-head stats, Pirates and Ajax have met in eight
previous cup matches, the most recent of which was just last season.
Buccaneers crushed the Urban Warriors 4-1 in the quarterfinals of the 2014
However, that victory was against the general trend of cup
results between the teams, with the Cape side leading 4-3 in terms of victories
when it comes to knockout clashes.
Overall, the teams have met in 40 matches across all
competitions since Ajax’s formation back in 1999.
Bucs boast double the amount
of wins - 20 to 10 - while 10 matches have been drawn. The teams' most recent
meeting was on the final day of the league season in May this year, a 2-2 draw
in which Thabiso Nkoana and Riyaad Norodien scored for the coastal side, while
Kermit Erasmus and Menzi Masuku netted for Bucs.
The match will be played at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on
Tuesday, August 4.
Kick-off is at 19:30.