Bucs starving to topple Hungry Lions in cup of upsets

Coach of Orlando Pirates Jose Riveiro. | BackpagePix

Coach of Orlando Pirates Jose Riveiro. | BackpagePix

Published Mar 12, 2024


Coach of Orlando Pirates Jose Riveiro. | BackpagePix

Smiso Msomi

Defending Nedbank Cup champions Orlando Pirates are expected to be riding the wave of Soweto derby triumphs when they change direction towards cup exploits this week.

The Buccaneers will, for the second round running, play hosts to a lower tier side in the Ke Yona competition when Motsepe Foundation Championship outfit Hungry Lions visits the Orlando Stadium next.

Having already defended their MTN8 title this season, the expectation will be heavy on the shoulders of Pirates and coach Jose Riveiro with the DStv Premiership seemingly a stretch too far.

Orlando Pirates celebrate after beating Kaizer Chiefs this past weekend. | BackpagePix

The Sea Robbers occupy second place on the league standings after their win against Kaizer Chiefs and will want to cement that CAF Champions League slot, alongside back-to-back Nedbank wins.

Avid followers of the second tier of South African football will know Hungry Lions will be no slouches, and the Bucs should require the highest level of concentration and humility if they are to avoid an upset. The only all-Premiership fixtures in the round of 16 pit Sekhukhune United against AmaZulu, and Richards Bay against SuperSport United.

Coach of AmaZulu Pablo Franco Martin. | BackpagePix

Usuthu will battle Babina Noko at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Thursday, two days before Matsatsanta visit the Natal Rich Boyz in Umlazi at the King Zwelithini Stadium.

AmaZulu coach Pablo Franco Martin is desperate to etch his name in the club’s history books by lifting silverware for the first time in over three decades.

His counterpart Lehlohonolo Seema has seen his side be counted amongst the best performing teams this year and their 4-1 thumping of Moroka Swallows in their last league match will raise the expectations for this encounter. The Dube Birds, meanwhile, will have an opportunity to pick themselves up from that result as they entertain Motsepe Foundation Championship league contenders, the University of Pretoria.

This fixture will start the round of 16 fixtures on Wednesday with an expectant AmaTuks crowd set to grace the occasion at the Tuks Stadium for a 7pm kick-off.

David Uromi, left, celebrates a goal with coach Musa Nyatama of Moroka Swallows. | BackpagePix

Musa Nyatama, now in the Swallows hot seat, is still searching for his first win in regular time, having needed a penalty shoot-out to dispatch Platinum City in the previous round of this competition, while he registered two losses and two draws in the league.

Carling Knockout winners Stellenbosch will take a crack at giant slayers Milford FC, who eliminated the Amakhosi in the last round. The two clubs will clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Friday.

Tournament favourites Mamelodi Sundowns will conclude the round with a home match against Maritzburg United on Sunday. The Brazilians will have to handle their Pretoria derby encounter with SuperSport United tonight before they can focus on trying to claim one of three competitions available to them at this point.