Polok­wane City hunt for vic­tory

Coach Molekwa is con­fi­dent

African Times - - Front Page - MOYAHABO MABEBA

MOR­BIDLY odd though it might sound, but Polok­wane City are a death-de­fy­ing lot when they play on un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­to­ries and this track record should send shiv­ers down the spines of Or­lando Pi­rates play­ers and sup­port­ers alike.

A sense of déjà vu is on the cards when two sides come face-to-face this Satur­day at Or­lando Sta­dium in Soweto for their Absa Pre­mier­ship sec­ond leg date.

Kick-off for this clash is at 20:30 Pi­rates will go into this game brim­ming with con­fi­dence af­ter com­pre­hen­sively beat­ing log lead­ers Mamelodi Sun­downs 3-1 in a pul­sat­ing league clash on Satur­day while City are still nurs­ing their wounds in­flicted by Kaizer Chiefs who beat them 2-1.

Against this back­drop, the Lim­popo side can still take to field with their tails up af­ter hu­mil­i­at­ing Pi­rates with a 4-2 score line dur­ing a penalty shootout in the Telkom Knock­out Cup on Novem­ber 4.

The cup game was forced into spot kick af­ter the game ended in a 2-all stale­mate.

The last time City and Pi­rates met was dur­ing a four-goal thriller in which Tham­sanqa Gabuza grabbed a brace for the Buc­ca­neers, while Rise and Shine’s goals were net­ted by Ren­dani Ndou and Rod­ney Ra­m­a­galela.

Over the years, when­ever Pi­rates and City meet, ir­re­spec­tive of the venue, spec­ta­tors are kept on their toes and this week­end’s fix­ture will be no ex­cep­tion.

The game it­self has all the hall­marks of a swash­buck­ling razzmatazz.

Play­ing on their home turf in front of their fanatical home fans, Pi­rates have over their years en­joyed ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage on this venue while on the other hand, City have proven be­yond rea­son­able doubts that they are free scor­ers away from Polok­wane.

The Sea Rob­bers re­turn to the same venue where they hu­mil­i­ated Baroka FC with a 3-1 drub­bing a fort­night ago.

To­wards the end of the first round, Pi­rates have ei­ther been win­ing or draw­ing, ex­cept for their slen­der 2-1 loss to Free State Stars.

City’s coach Bernard Molekwa, nonethe­less, is up­beat that they will give a good ac­count of them­selves, like they usu­ally do on their away as­sign­ments.

“We have never been good vis­i­tors and our hosts are aware of this fac­tor that we are no­to­ri­ous and have a ten­dency of spoil­ing par­ties” Molekwa joked, as he went on to say, “If this was not foot­ball, fam­i­lies would stop invit­ing us be­cause we are an an­noy­ance.”

On a se­ri­ous note, Molekwa is not tak­ing their en­counter against Pi­rates lightly, ac­knowl­edg­ing that a team with African cup pedi­gree as the Ghosts de­serve great re­spect.

The black and white bri­gade who swear by the skull and cross bones in­signia have proven their worth in their vic­tory over the Brazil­ians and who­ever takes them for granted will live to re­gret such com­pla­cency.

Molekwa con­ceded that: “We have a mam­moth task to deal with. Pi­rates are a big team even though in the PSL we are somehow re­luc­tant to ac­knowl­edge such ex­is­tence of big and small clubs. How­ever, it is teams like us wo have sys­tem­at­i­cally broke that myth, ef­fec­tively brin­ing equal­ity among clubs.”

Molekwa seems less trou­bled when his charges take on one of the most revered side on the African con­ti­nent.

He says, like Pi­rates, they have war­rior play­ers who can win any bat­tle even un­der try­ing con­di­tions.

Molekwa said, “I have a well­bal­anced squad which can de­liver good re­sults. My play­ers are fa­mil­iar with Pi­rates and know what is ex­pected from them.

“They have been to­gether for a while now and com­ple­ment each other well.

“Thank­fully, we don’t have to rely on one player to score goals. Goal scor­ing at Rise and Shine has be­come ev­ery­one’ re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

OTHER WEEK­END FIX­TURES Fri­day

Free State vs Bloem­fontein Celtic (Goble Park – 20:00)

Satur­day

Cape Town City vs Ajax Cape Town (Cape Town Sta­dium – 15:30)

Mamelodi Sun­downs vs Plat­inum Stars (Lof­tus Versveld Sta­dium – 18:00.

Or­lando Pi­rates vs Polok­wane City (Or­lando Sta­dium – 20:15) AmaZulu FC vs SuperSport United (King Zwelithini Sta­dium – 20:15)

Sun­day

Baroka FC vs Kaizer Chiefs (Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium – 15:30)

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