Absa Premiership

Battle lines drawn for Soweto derby

2014-09-19 10:18
Lehlohonolo Majoro (Gallo Images)

Durban - Orlando Pirates will look to continue with their good record over Kaizer Chiefs in the MTN8 when the two sides meet in the final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

Kick-off is at 20:15.

The two sides first met in the competition in the semifinals back in 2010, with the Buccaneers winning the two-legged tie 2-1 on aggregate on their way to clinching their first MTN8 title.

A year later they locked horns in the final at the FNB Stadium, a match which ended 1-0 in favour of the Sea Robbers with Oupa Manyisa scoring the winner in extra time.

Last season they met again in the semifinals with Pirates winning 2-1 on aggregate before losing 2-1 to Platinum Stars in the final.

Pirates assistant coach Eric Tinkler says his side are determined to avoid a similar outcome in this year’s final, although they are coming up against a strong opponent.

“Obviously it’s a massive game; the derby is a huge game and every single game we play against Kaizer Chiefs is massive because there’s a lot of pride at stake,” Tinkler said.

“Last season we found ourselves in this position but unfortunately we ended up on the wrong end of the stick and ended up being losers in the final and we want to change that.”

Pirates defeated SuperSport United 2-1 in the quarterfinals before registering a 5-1 aggregate win over Bidvest Wits to book their spot in the final.

Amakhosi were equally impressive in their run, hammering Mpumalanga Black Aces 4-0 in the quarterfinal before beating Platinum Stars 5-0 on aggregate in the last four.

Both sides won their respective league matches this past weekend with Chiefs beating University of Pretoria 2-1, while the Buccaneers edged out Bidvest Wits 1-0.

While the two teams carry good form into the game, Chiefs assistant coach Doctor Khumalo says they will not put any added pressure on the players and is expecting a tactical battle on the day.

“We’re not going to treat this game differently from the games that we have played already but we know the magnitude of the game and we know what is expected of us,” Khumalo said.

“We don’t want to exaggerate the game and we want the player to go out there and stay focused but also be able to enjoy themselves.

“It will be a game between two teams that are tactically strong and also blessed with quality players in all departments.”

Pirates midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo has recovered from a minor injury and is eligible for selection but defender Lucky Lekgwathi is not expected to play any part as he has recently returned to training.

Chiefs will be without goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune, who is nursing an ankle injury, as well as striker Katlego Mphela, out with a foot injury.

Read more on:    orlando pirates  |  mtn8  |  soccer

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