July 13, 2024

Orlando Pirates Are Favourites Heading To The Final

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Sekhukhune United has already qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup by virtue of having reached the final. 

FILE PHOTO: Goodman Mosele of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership match against Sekhukhune United at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on October 4 2022. PICTURE: Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

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PRETORIA: Pirates are undefeated in their last 12 matches in all competitions.

All roads lead to Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria, Gauteng, this evening for a sold-out Nedbank Cup final between Orlando Pirates and Sekhukhune United. At stake are a trophy and R7 million cash prize. 

The winner of this competition qualifies to play in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederation Cup. In this instance, Pirates has already qualified for the CAF Champions League, as it finished second in the 2022/23 DSTV premiership season. Therefore, Sekhukhune United has already qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup by virtue of having reached the final. 

The Buccaneers go to this match with a heavy favourites tag on their shoulders, as they found their rhythm under Jose Riveiro in the closing stages of the league. Pirates are undefeated in their last 12 matches in all competitions.

Having finished the season on a high note, thrashing Amazulu FC 4-0 would be a confidence booster for the Buccaneers. Also playing the final in Gauteng, where a multitude of supporters is expected to fill the stadium to the rafters and thus constitute their twelfth man, gives the Buccaneers the edge over the Limpopo-based side.

Although Pirates are favourites on paper and form, Sekhukhune would not come to this match as a sheep that is ready to be slaughtered. United boasts experienced players who have played in matches of this magnitude, such as Kamohelo Mokotjo and Daniel Cardoso. 

The Ghosts should be wary of underestimating the Limpopo side. In the recent past, Pirates went to cup finals with the same favourites tag but suffered defeats at the hands of Baroka United and Platinum Stars.

The last time the two clubs met was in the league two weeks back and the match ended in a 1-all draw. Pirates will be hoping that Footballer of the Season nominee Monnapule Saleng would continue on his rich vein of form and help the reigning MTN 8 champions to bag their second trophy, thereby ending the 2022/23 season on an even higher note. 

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