Baroka, Pirates battle for TKO glory

Baroka, Pirates battle for TKO glory
Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates celebrates goal during the 2018 Telkom Knockout semifinal match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 24 November 2018 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Dec 06, 2018. 13:00

Baroka will hope to upset the Buccaneers in PE on Saturday.

Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates will battle for the right to be called Telkom Knockout champions when they meet in the final, set for the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, 8 December 2018, kick-off at 18h00.

Baroka earned their place in the final with 2-0 wins over Golden Arrows and Mamelodi Sundowns in the last 16 and quarterfinals respectively, before edging Bidvest Wits 1-0 (thanks to an early goal from Matome Mabeba) in their semifinal against outgoing TKO champions Bidvest Wits on November 25.

This will be Bakgaga’s first-ever final in a major cup competition. Manager Wedson Nyirenda and his charges have already made history for the Limpopo club, but would love to go even further and lift their first piece of top-flight silverware.

Pirates have been impressive in their march to the final, overcoming Chippa United and AmaZulu in the last 16 and quarterfinals respectively, before claiming a third win over arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the calendar year – goals from Thembinkosi Lorch and Justin Shonga took them to a 2-1 win on November 24 and secured their place in the showpiece match in Port Elizabeth.

The Buccaneers have won the Telkom Knockout just once (2011) and this is their first return to the final since ending as runners-up to Platinum Stars in 2013.

This TKO final will be the first cup match between Baroka and Pirates. The teams have been regular combatants in the Absa Premiership since the Limpopo club’s promotion in 2016. The Buccaneers boast an unbeaten record in their five league meetings, with two wins and three draws.

The Soweto giants emerged victorious when the teams met in a league game at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on September 22. First-half goals from Vincent Pule and Lorch took Milutin Sredojevic’s side to all three points, though they had to endure a tense finish after Onkabetse Makgantai reduced the deficit late on.

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