One chink in Orlando Pirates' armour for Baroka to exploit

08 December 2018 - 13:34 By Marc Strydom
In-form Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana midfielder Vincent Pule in action during the Absa Premiership match against Bloemfontein Celtic at Toyota Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on August 19 2018.
In-form Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana midfielder Vincent Pule in action during the Absa Premiership match against Bloemfontein Celtic at Toyota Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on August 19 2018.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

The might of Orlando Pirates meet the ambition of Baroka FC‚ who will have to continue “working as a unit”‚ as they did in the previous rounds‚ to stop an in-form‚ quality Buccaneers line-up in the Telkom Knockout final.

It is a fearsome Pirates ship who Baroka will cross paths with at Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth (kickoff 6pm)‚ and a hungry one‚ having not won a trophy in four years since the 2014 Nedbank Cup.

Pirates are especially formidable in a midfield of Xola Mlambo and Musa Nyatama; and a frontline who have scored 18 goals between them of Vincent Pule‚ Thembinkosi Lorch‚ Justin Shonga and Augustine Mulenga.

A first cup final for Baroka could potentially see the men from Polokwane overawed. It might also inspire them.

Either way‚ assistant-coach Bushy Moloi said‚ Baroka need to show the same teamwork and unity they did dispensing of Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinals and Bidvest Wits in the semis to stand a chance of overcoming Milutin Sredojevic’s slickly-trained Pirates.

“I cannot say that we must speak to our defenders‚” Moloi – the three-time Varsity Cup winner with Tshwane University of Technology (Tut)‚ who was only appointed as Wedson Nyirenda’s assistant last month – said.

“We must speak to the 11 players who will be on the field. Starting from the attacking line to the goalkeeping department. We have to work as a unit.

“We are able to do that when we are united‚ like we have been. We are able to display our abilities and talents because we are a solid team.

“It has given us positive results. But we still have to learn a lot.

“This is the first time that we play in a final‚ and also it’s part of our learning curve.

“And we’ll be able to stop Pirates if we work as a unit.”

If there is a weak point to the Buccaneers’ galleon‚ it is at the rear – the Absa Premiership leaders have conceded 11 goals in their 14 league games.

They have conceded two in their three Telkom matches – a 1-0 last-16 win over Chippa United‚ 3-1 quarterfinal victory against AmaZulu and 2-1 semifinal win against Kaizer Chiefs.

It is a chink in the armour that a disciplined‚ skilful team like Baroka‚ so long as they hold out against that intimidating frontline‚ can aim to exploit.


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