MTN8 Preview: Pirates face MTN8 debutants Highlands

MTN8 Preview: Pirates face MTN8 debutants Highlands
Milutin Sredojevic, head coach of Orlando Pirates during the 2019 MTN8 Orlando Pirates Press Conference on the 15 August 2019 at PSL Offices Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Friday Aug 16, 2019. 13:00

Orlando Pirates will face the challenge of MTN8 debutants Highlands Park in the quarterfinals of the 2019 competition, with the teams set to meet at Orlando Stadium on Saturday 17 August, kick-off at 18h00.

Pirates come into the match having suffered a heavy defeat in their last outing. The Buccaneers were beaten 3-0 by hosts SuperSport United in a league match at Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday, August 14.

The Buccaneers are nine-time champions in the MTN8, with their most recent triumph arriving in 2011. Last year they exited the competition in the quarterfinal stage, losing on penalties to eventual runners-up SuperSport United after a 2-2 draw over 120 minutes.

Highlands have had a tricky start to their 2019/20 league season, having picked up just one point from their first two matches. They lost their opener 3-2 at home to Kaizer Chiefs, before salvaging a 1-1 draw away to Maritzburg United last weekend. Peter Shalulile has scored in both games for the Makhulong-based team.

This will be the debut MTN8 showing for the Lions of the North (in the PSL era), who earned their place in the competition by finishing a creditable seventh in last season’s Absa Premiership.

Pirates and Highlands have clashed in just one previous cup match: a quarterfinal in the 2016/17 Telkom Knockout which the Soweto side won 2-1 at home thanks to an own goal from Augustine Mbara and a second-half strike from Tendai Ndoro (who now plays for Highlands).

The teams have also met in four league matches since the Lions of the North first appeared in the PSL in 2016/17, and all four have ended in draws. Last season the teams cancelled each other out 1-1 in the Buccaneers’ home game in August 2018, and 2-2 in the return at Makhulong Stadium in January 2019.

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