Absa Premiership

Pirates’ last chance to get silverware

2017-03-12 06:10
TIME TO WIN: Orlando Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret will hope for his maiden victory when the Buccaneers face ABC Motsepe league side Eastern Cape Bees. (Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix)

Johannesburg - The Nedbank Cup offers Orlando Pirates one last chance to salvage something from the disastrous season they have had.

But the Buccaneers – who are celebrating their 80th anniversary this year – will be wary when they meet unknown ABC Motsepe league side Eastern Cape Bees this afternoon (on Sunday).

This is because, four years ago, the Buccaneers were booted out of the Nedbank Cup by another amateur side, Maluti FET College, following a 4-1 drubbing.

However, despite their unimpressive run so far, Pirates are still favourites to go through to the next round.

The game offers coach Kjell Jonevret his first real chance of tasting victory after he joined the Soweto giants three weeks ago.

So far, the Swede has led his team in three successive draws against Polokwane City, Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United.

But he will fancy his chances against the third-division minnows. The game also gives Jonevret a chance to try out players he has not seen in action so far.

With the league title out of reach for the Sea Robbers, the Ke Yona Cup – incidentally the last trophy they won back in 2014 – is the only real opportunity for silverware for Pirates.

They have had a season to forget with only four victories in 20 games, 11 of which ended in draws.

Making history

Another side that hopes to cause an upset are the ABC Motsepe league’s Mpumalanga division leaders, Acornbush United. They host in-form Cape Town City at the Kabokweni Stadium in Mpumalanga.

With a place in the ABC Motsepe league national playoffs almost secured (they lead second-placed TS Galaxy FC by 17 points), and with six league games remaining before this weekend’s round of matches, Acornbush will throw everything at City with the hope of also making history.

But Telkom Knockout champions City are hot favourites to dominate this fixture.

In the other Nedbank Cup match on Sunday afternoon, Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United meet again in a repeat of last weekend’s PSL fixture.

Arrows will want to pick up where they left off, but United will be out to avenge last weekend’s 1-0 defeat.

Defending champions SuperSport United will play their Nedbank Cup fixture on Wednesday when they visit National First Division side Royal Eagles at Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

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Fixtures
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Free State Stars v SuperSport United, Goble Park 19:30
Mamelodi Sundowns v Maritzburg United, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
Friday, 15 December 2017
Cape Town City FC v AmaZulu FC, Cape Town Stadium 20:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
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