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Nedbank Cup final debutants Sekhukhune eye Pirates’ scalp

By Michael Madyira

Sekhukhune United have a date with history as they bid for their first-ever trophy in top-flight league football when they clash with Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday.

The battle at Loftus Versfeld is the first time Babina Noko feature in the final of a knockout competition.

But it is a difficult task as they come up against Orlando Pirates who are the second-most successful team in this competition with eight Nedbank Cup titles.

That makes Sekhukhune carry the underdog tag going into Saturday’s match but experienced midfielder Sibusiso Vilakazi feels it is their chance to build a winning culture.

“The team is trying to put a stamp, a certain mark of history within their books,” Vlakazi told journalists

“One would say a team needs to have that history in terms of trophies. We want to have a team where players come on board because we win things. That’s the culture we are trying to build.

“With this also, we just take it the way it’s coming. The most important thing is to create a team that is able to inspire the upcoming ones that Babina Noko is a team you can go to and is able to win trophies and be successful.”

On their way to the final, Sekhukhune first thumped armature side Liver Brother 6-0 in the Round of 32, before seeing off Cape Town Spurs 2-0 in the Last 16.

That was followed by a 2-1 quarter-final victory over Chippa United and then they needed a penalty shootout victory over Stellenbosch in the semi-finals.

Pirates coach Jose Riveiro knows what they are up against and refuses to get carried away by their favourite tag.

“We are Orlando Pirates and any game we are going to play we have to accept that role and that pressure but at the same time it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy game just because we are Orlando Pirates,” Roveiro told the media.

“We have to be mentally prepared for a difficult game because a Cup final is a very difficult game. Sekhukhune have shown it several times especially when they face the favourites.

“We know what’s coming and the amount of effort we have to put into this game.”

Pirates and Sekhukhune meet, two weeks after drawing 1-1 in a Premier Soccer League match at Orlando Stadium.

Pictured above: Sekhukhune United taking on Orlando Pirates

Image source: Orlando Pirates