It’s a pity there won’t be fans for the Nedbank Cup ’final before the final’, says Rhulani Mokwena
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JOHANNEBSBURG - Tomorrow's Nedbank Cup quarter-final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates has been described as the “final before the final”, and Rhulani Mokwena says it is a pity there will not be spectators to witness the “spectacle”.
Mokwena, the Sundowns co-coach, made the “final” reference while addressing the media ahead of tomorrow evening's Nedbank Cup shoot-out at Loftus.
"With respect to the remaining teams in the competition, the Sundowns-Pirates match has been correctly referred to as a 'final before the final'. It will be a match between high-quality players," said Mokwena.
"There have been matches between these two teams in the past when there was not much to write home about. It might have been because of the highly competitive nature of the teams.
"This time, the teams are doing well, they are strong and have very good players.
"It is just a pity there will not be spectators to witness what will be a spectacle."
The winner of the match will advance to the semi-finals and will be away to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila, the Premiership strugglers, on Sunday.
The other semi-final will be played on Saturday. It will be between GladAfrica Championship outfit Pretoria Callies and Chippa United, who are second-last on the latest league standings, and one place below TTM.
Whoever wins tomorrow will be the only “Big Name” left in the competition, and that illustrates Mokwena's final reference.
Mokwena, it appears, has already done his homework on Pirates, even though he only returned home from East London where Sundowns played against Chippa on Monday afternoon. He said Pirates adopt different styles for local and continental competitions.
"Pirates have players who offer good weapons, and they have mobility on attack," said Mokwena. "They have tactical flexibility in the way they operate.
"They are a team that play in a certain way, depending on the competition. They have lots of players who have been together for two or three seasons. Their cohesion is very good.
"I can give you the Pirates line-up for the match. I think we all know, more or less, who will play.
"Fortunately, we are also very clued up on their schemes, and it should be a very good game."