Usuthu out for revenge against Pirates

AMAZULU players during the Nedbank Cup media day at Kings Park ahead of facing Orlando Pirates tomorrow. | BackpagePix

AMAZULU players during the Nedbank Cup media day at Kings Park ahead of facing Orlando Pirates tomorrow. | BackpagePix

Published Apr 12, 2024


AMAZULU midfielder Ben Motshwari says he and his teammates are not short of motivation ahead of their Nedbank Cup clash against Orlando Pirates.

Usuthu will welcome the Sea Robbers to Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow at 6pm, looking to get revenge for their 2022 MTN8 final defeat.

The Buccaneers have held long-standing dominance over this fixture in both league and cup competitions, having won three of the last five meetings between the two teams, with the other two ending in draws.

Motshwari, who spent five years at Pirates, spoke to the media at the AmaZulu training base in Durban ahead of the visit by his former club.

The 33-year-old said the occasion and level of opposition that AmaZulu are coming up against has lit a fire in their bellies as they look to book a place in the last four of the competition.

“This is a different ball game, this is a cup game. We obviously can’t go there and take the point, we have to go out there and win the game, so the guys are motivated even though the game itself is a great motivation and we’re ready to go out there and give them a fight,” he said.

Motshwari has already faced off against his former team in AmaZulu colours after he was instrumental in helping Pablo Franco’s team earn a hard-fought point in the league encounter.

When quizzed about the kind of inside knowledge he might hold in terms of tactics – from his time in the camp of Pirates coach Jose Riveiro – Motshwari said he did not think about Pirates.

“I don’t think about it, my focus is here at AmaZulu, what we can do right on the day. We’re not going there to pinpoint individuals.”

He added: “They’ve got a huge squad so anyone can play and win games for them and I believe that we have (good) players as well. Lately we’ve been struggling to score, but we’re trying to change our luck every day at training.

“So I don’t want to dwell on them too much. I’ve been there, I played for them. The team has changed now, the personnel, that is, but knowing them, the style of play hasn’t changed that much.”

The Nedbank Cup presents a great opportunity for the club to participate in the CAF Confederation Cup next season.

However, Usuthu’s league form sees them occupy 12th spot in the DStv Premiership standings after 23 games played, four points away from a top-eight spot.

Motshwari admitted the club’s positioning has been been a higher priority for Usuthu in these latter stages of the season as opposed to competing in Africa.

“We haven’t been thinking about Africa as yet because we’re not sitting well on the log, so the conversations are that we try to move up on the log and maybe after that we can start thinking about Africa,” he said.