Following a dismal season, Soweto outfit, Orlando Pirates, is out to redeem lost pride when they lock horns with defending champions, Supersport United, in a repeat of last year’s Nedbank Cup final at Durban’s iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium, writes Chamu Wilson.
The Buccaneers are relishing the chance to atone for finishing an embarrassing 11th in the 16-team ABSA Premiership for the 2016/7 season with a piece of silverware. This would be the appeasement to at least console growing discontent among their legion of hard-to-please supporters.
Add on this, Pirates will be out for revenge following their 2-3 loss to Matsatsantsa a Pitori in last year’s Ke Yona final. In fact, revenge should have been the buzz word for Bucs at training the whole week especially considering that the Soweto side’s heaviest defeat this season, a 1-6 thrashing, came at the hands of Supersport United.
Baxter also guided his charges to a 1-0 win over Pirates to send them reeling out of the Telkom Knockout Cup.
The script has somewhat changed at Pirates with coach Kjell Jonevret taking over the dugout and guiding the team to a 2-1 quarter final win over Bloem Celtic which was then followed up by a slender 1-0 victory over Golden Arrows in an absorbing semi-final.
Supersport, on their part, are not without motivation. Stuart Baxter will be sitting on the team’s bench for the last time following his appointment to Bafana Bafana’s hot seat. He would want to sign off in spectacular fashion in his swan song match for the Pretoria side.
The players, most of whom had formed a bond with the Englishman, will feel obliged to win the cup as a fitting send-off to their soon-to-be former mentor.
Apart from the pride and the cheque that comes with being crowned Ke Yona winners, both sides would want to win the final to ensure a ticket to next year’s CAF Confederation Cup. It’s a match that promises nothing but pure fireworks as both teams look set to attack from the first whistle.
Pirates’ and Bafana Bafana defender, Abbubaker Mobara, is upbeat that his side will upset the applecart on Saturday.
“When I came back from the national team camp, I saw a team that wants to win the Nedbank Cup,” Mobara told the media.
“The spirit is positive inside the camp and the attitude at training has been good. We are all hungry to do well on Saturday,” he said.
Mobara acknowledged that their poor showing in the just ended season will serve as a motivation for cup glory.
“Look we did not have a good season and we see this Cup as an opportunity to redeem ourselves by winning it,” Mobara stressed.
Kick-off is at 20h15