Cape Town - Orlando Pirates defender Thabo Matlaba vows it is time for Buccaneers to end Telkom Knockout jinx by winning this year's edition of the tournament.
Bucs will battle it out with Golden Arrows in a do-or-die encounter in the Telkom Knockout Last 16 on Sunday at Orlando Stadium.
The 28-year-old attack-minded left-back was part of Bucs side that lost 2-1 to Platinum Stars in the 2013 Telkom Knockout Final, and is still itching to lay his hands on the coveted trophy.
"If you look back at TKO history, we have won this cup only once, in 2011 (Matlaba was not part of that winning side, having joined Bucs in 2012)," Matlaba told Vodacom Soccer.
"Apart from 2011's triumph, luck has been eluding us in this tournament despite having reached the cup finals four times. So, the time has come for us to end the jinx by making sure that we clinch the title this year to give our supporters a Christmas present."
"Having ended last season's campaign empty-handed, of course this is a cup to win. We may have not been consistent in our three last League matches, but in a knockout campaign the league form rarely works.
"Yes, Arrows are currently on song and are highly motivated coming to Sunday's knockout clash. But we will go all out for a much-needed victory on Sunday irrespective of our opposition's form," enthused Matlaba.
Since the Telkom Knockout competition's inception in 2006, Bucs have been playing a second fiddle to arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs.
Both Soweto giants have reached the tournament's finals four times, although Amakhosi have clinched the title thrice (2007, 2009, 2010), while Bucs have only lifted the trophy once in 2011, following a 3-1 victory over Bidvest Wits.
Kick-off is at 15:00.