Pi­rates’ last chance to get sil­ver­ware

CityPress - - Sport - SIL­VER SIBIYA sil­ver.sibiya@city­press.co.za

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.

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.

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 this 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.

PHOTO: SYD­NEY MAHLANGU / BACKPAGEPIX

TIME TO WIN Or­lando Pi­rates coach Kjell Jonevret will hope for his maiden vic­tory this af­ter­noon when the Buc­ca­neers face ABC Mot­sepe league side Eastern Cape Bees in a Ned­bank Cup fix­ture

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