Observer on Saturday - - Sport - Times Live

Or­lando Pi­rates go into to­day’s Car­ling Black La­bel Cham­pion Cup against Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Sta­dium lead­ing the head-to-head 42 in past com­pe­ti­tions‚ but are yet to de­feat their great Soweto ri­vals out-right.

All four of Pi­rates’ pre­vi­ous suc­cesses in the pre-sea­son show­piece event have come via penalty shoot-outs‚ while some­what re­mark­ably they have only man­aged two goals in the six games.

Buc­ca­neers fans are des­per­ately in need of a lift af­ter a dis­as­trous 2016/17 Pre­mier Soc­cer League sea­son and are hop­ing for a good per­for­mance against their ri­vals which will give them hope ahead of the new cam­paign.

The once-off match‚ that sees the sup­port­ers of the two sides se­lect the start­ing lineup via pub­lic vot­ing‚ was first played in 2011 with the in­au­gu­ral game end­ing in a


0-0 draw. Kee­gan Ritchie and Itume­leng Khune missed in the shoot-out for Chiefs and Pi­rates won the day 4-3 on penal­ties.

Chiefs were sec­onds away from claim­ing their first tro­phy win in 2012 af­ter Abia Nale had given them an early lead‚ but Benni McCarthy pounced in the sixth minute of in­jury-time to take the match to penal­ties once more.

Pi­rates tri­umphed again in the shoot-out 5-4‚ with five play­ers miss­ing on both sides‚ among them the un­lucky Ritchie for the sec­ond year in a row‚ as well as McCarthy.

Chiefs did pick up their first vic­tory in 2013 though as Lehlo­honolo Ma­joro scored the only goal in a 1-0 win‚ but the sides were dead­locked again the fol­low­ing year at 0-0.

Again Pi­rates held their nerve in a marathon shootout that needed 18 penal­ties to sep­a­rate the sides‚ be­fore The Buc­ca­neers fi­nally tri­umphed 6-5.

Si­fiso Myeni put Pi­rates ahead in the 2015 match-up‚ but they were pegged back by a Reneilwe Let­sholonyane equaliser and to penal­ties the teams went once more.

By now the hoodoo was firmly en­trenched with Chiefs and it was no sur­prise to any­body when Pi­rates won 4-3.

Sec­ond half goals from Eric Mathoho and Lewis Macha gave Chiefs the tro­phy win last year though as they de­feated Pi­rates 2-0‚ a bad start to what would be an aw­ful cam­paign for The Buc­ca­neers.

Or­lando Pi­rates coach Kjell Jonevret and his Kaizer Chiefs coun­ter­part Steve Kom­phela are look­ing for­ward to to­mor­row’s Soweto derby although they will have lit­tle say in the en­counter.

Jonevret and Kom­phela will be watch­ing from the side­lines dur­ing the Car­ling Black La­bel Cup clash at FNB Sta­dium to­mor­row (3.30pm), while guest coaches Chief Nkoko (Pi­rates) and Man­thu­lane Aphane (Chiefs) will shout or­ders from the dugouts.

This will be Jonevret’s first ex­pe­ri­ence of the an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion clash af­ter tak­ing over the reins in Fe­bru­ary. He ad­mit­ted that he was shocked when he heard that the fans pick the line-ups.

“When I heard about this for the first time, I was like ‘what’s that?’ But then I thought about it and it


should be a fun thing. It’s a party and now I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to it,” Jonevret said this week.

The 55-year-old will be able to gather in­for­ma­tion, es­pe­cially about the pre­pared­ness of his team ahead of the new cam­paign start­ing next month.

Af­ter Pi­rates’s dis­as­trous sea­son last term, Jonevret has hinted that he’s des­per­ately look­ing for a win­ning com­bi­na­tion so Bucs don’t dis­ap­point again.

“Last sea­son was not good, so this should give some hope to the sup­port­ers; that we mean busi­ness and we are go­ing to be bet­ter,” he said.

Pi­rates will be with­out mid­field­ers Thabo Rakhale and Thabo Qalinge, who made it to the start­ing 11 but are in­jured, ac­cord­ing to Pi­rates’s guest coach Nkoko.

HOPE­FULS: Kaizer Chiefs de­fender Eric Mathoho (R) and Pi­rates for­ward Thamisanqa Gabuza.

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