United, Bucs set for final showdown

United, Bucs set for final showdown
Thabo Rakhale of Orlando Pirates is challenged by Michael Boxall of Supersport United during the Absa Premiership match between Orlando Pirates and Supersport United on 21 May 2016 at Orlando Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by BackPageTXT

Wednesday May 25, 2016. 11:20

SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates will battle for the 2016 Nedbank Cup when they meet in the final at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on May 28, kick-off at 15h00.

Current form

SuperSport advanced into the final of the Nedbank Cup by overcoming Moroka Swallows (1-0 away), University of Pretoria (3-3 away, won 4-2 on penalties), Black Aces (2-1 home) and Baroka FC (2-0 home). Pirates advanced into the final thanks to four successive wins over fellow top flight teams: 2-0 at home to Kaizer Chiefs, 3-1 away to Jomo Cosmos, 2-0 away to Mamelodi Sundowns and 4-2 away to Free State Stars.

The teams faced off at Orlando Stadium in their final league match of the 2015/16 season this past weekend and played to a 2-2 draw. Pirates twice went ahead through goals from Sifiso Myeni and Mpho Makola, but United hit back to claim a share of the spoils with strikes from Bradley Grobler and Denwin Farmer.

Head-to-head history

SuperSport and Pirates have been regular combatants in cup competitions, especially in recent years. This will be the eighth cup clash between the teams in just the past four seasons, and 18th overall. The Buccaneers have generally dominated the rivalry, claiming nine outrights wins (plus two by penalties) compared to four for Matsatsantsa (plus two by penalties). The teams’ most recent knockout meeting was in the Nedbank Cup last year: SuperSport won 1-0 thanks to a goal from striker Jeremy Brockie.

Overall, the United and Bucs have clashed in 68 matches across all competitions since 1990. The Soweto side has claimed 31 wins compared to 20 for the Tshwane club, while 17 matches have been drawn. The teams have met twice this season, with last weekend’s match at Orlando Stadium adding to a 1-0 win for SuperSport in the league way back in August at the start of the 2015/16 campaign.

Nedbank Cup pedigree

SuperSport have won the Nedbank Cup three times, with their most recent triumph occurring in 2012 (adding to triumphs in 1999 and 2005) when they beat local rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in the final. Matsatsantsa reached the semifinals of last season’s Nedbank Cup before they were beaten 2-1 by eventual runners-up Ajax Cape Town.

Pirates have won the Nedbank Cup eight times, and were champions as recently as 2014. They were also runners-up in 1971, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1984, 1998 and 2006. Last season the Buccaneers were knocked out in the last 16, going down 1-0 at the hands of SuperSport United.

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