Cape Town a graveyard for title-chasing Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates head to one of their unhappiest hunting grounds in recent times requiring a victory at Cape Town City on Saturday to keep the pressure on Absa Premiership title rivals Mamelodi Sundowns.
Pirates will take on City at Athlone Stadium‚ but do so against the backdrop of a poor recent record in the Mother City‚ which has also never been a favourite destination for coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic.
Pirates have won none of their last four visits to Cape Town‚ losing three of those matches and drawing one.
City beat Sredojevic’s side twice at home last season‚ claiming a 1-0 league win and a 3-0 success in the Nedbank Cup.
That league defeat ended the Buccaneers’ hopes of lifting the PSL last season‚ and while nothing will be decided this weekend‚ the match could yield a similar hammer-blow if it ends in defeat.
Pirates’ first visit to face City in the latter's inaugural 2016-17 season resulted in a 2-2 draw.
The Soweto giants were also thumped 3-0 by Ajax Cape Town last season‚ the only game the Urban Warriors won in a horror run of 11 defeats in 13 matches that would ultimately lead to their relegation.
“They [City] are a team coached by a very good coach [Benni McCarthy]‚ with quality individuals. For us‚ Cape Town is always a hard place to go and play‚” Sredojevic said.
“We are expecting a tough match. But we believe in our work of the technical team‚ going to the deepest possible detail‚ and believe in our players that they will give their best.”
Pirates’ last success in Cape Town came against Ajax almost three years ago when a Tendai Ndoro brace saw them to a 2-1 victory under then-coach Muhsin Ertugral.
Sredojevic visited Cape Town twice in his first spell with Pirates in the 2006-07 season‚ with mixed success.
His team beat Santos 3-2 in the Mother City‚ but two weeks later lost 2-1 to Ajax‚ the start of the run that would see the Serbian coach exit the club after only six months in charge.
Pirates are currently three points ahead of Sundowns‚ but have played a game more and could see that lead cut to nothing when the Brazilians face Black Leopards in a catch-up fixture at Thohoyandou Stadium on Tuesday night.