Usuthu eye semi-final spot against Pirates


Siyabonga Mbatha

AmaZulu FC will play host to Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout Cup semi-final match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 6:00 pm.

The two teams last clashed in a cup game 24 years ago, with Pirates winning their BP Top 8 third-place playoff 2-1.

It was the Buccaneers’ second victory in three cup games against Usuthu since 1985, with the Durban side registering one win in the sequence.

Across all competitions, the clubs have met in 59 matches since 1985. Pirates have racked up 26 wins compared to 11 for AmaZulu, with 22 games drawn.

Their most recent meeting was a league clash in early October at the King Zwelithini Stadium which ended in a 1-1 draw: Augusine Mulenga’s early strike for the Soweto giants was cancelled out by a goal from Emiliano Tade.

The result extended Pirates’ unbeaten run against AmaZulu to six matches and also brought up a sixth draw from the last nine meetings of the teams.

AmaZulu earned their place in the final eight of the Telkom Knockout with an impressive 2-0 home win over MTN8 champions Cape Town City on October 23. Tade and Bongi Ntuli scored the goals as the Cavin Johnson’s side completed the quarterfinal line-up.

Usuthu won their only League Cup title in 1992, while they have already surpassed their appearance in last year’s Telkom Knockout, which ended in the last 16 when they were beaten 3-0 by Kaizer Chiefs.

Pirates had to work hard for their place in this phase of the TKO, edging Chippa United 1-0 at home on October 20.

The Soweto side’s goal was scored by in-form attacker Vincent Pule, who has been a key player for them in 2018/19.

The Buccaneers have won the Telkom Knockout just once (2011) and last season got as far as the quarterfinals before they were eliminated on penalties (after a 2-2 draw) by Polokwane City.

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