HOW BUCS CAN

TKO

Daily News - - SPORT - Minenhle Mkhize

BUCS MUST SCORE FIRST

Baroka have re­ally been im­pec­ca­ble against the so-called big guns in this year’s edi­tion of the Telkom Knock­out but they are yet to come from be­hind in any of their matches. They swept aside Golden Ar­rows 2-0 in the first round, got the bet­ter of Mamelodi Sun­downs 2-0 in the quar­ter-fi­nals and de­feated Wits 1-0 in the semi-fi­nals. So Pi­rates must strive to score first so that Baroka will be forced to chase the game.

COOL HEADS

Baroka will be ap­pear­ing in their first fi­nal while Pi­rates have been in many. Play­ers like Happy Jele, Ben Motshwari, Xola Mlambo, Asavela Mbek­ile, Mpho Makola and Siyabonga Mpontshane have been to fi­nals be­fore. They will be key in terms of han­dling the pres­sure that comes with be­ing in a cup fi­nal. Pi­rates are play­ing well but they haven’t won any­thing since 2014. If Baroka score first, Pi­rates fans are likely to run out of pa­tience and start rolling fingers, sig­nalling to the coach to make sub­sti­tu­tions. You need play­ers who can han­dle the pres­sure. Jele, Mbek­ile and Mlambo can do that.

SET-PLAYS

Pi­rates were lethal and ruth­less in their pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters against Light Stars of Sey­chelles at set-plays. Makola and Justin Shonga net­ted two bril­liant free-kicks against the Is­lan­ders last week in the CAF Cham­pi­ons League. Vin­cent Pule is an­other one of those who can score from free-kicks. So Baroka must re­frain from com­mit­ting un­nec­es­sary fouls around the box. Jele and Mar­shall Munetsi will also cause prob­lems for Baroka in the air at cor­ners and free-kicks. This might be their best way of scor­ing against a res­o­lute Baroka de­fence.

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