Orlando Pirates supporters gestures during the ABSA premiership game. Photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)
Next weekend’s Telkom Knockout final between Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth will mean a lot to the Buccaneers faithful. 
They haven’t tasted success in the last four years but have been to four finals without any luck.

Pirates’ last trophy triumph was in 2014 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban against Bidvest Wits in a 3-1 victory in the Nedbank Cup final.

Pirates’ woes in cup finals commenced in 2015 when they were beaten by their bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the final of MTN8 at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Their frailties in cup finals were on display again as Tunisian powerhouse Etoile du Sahel got the better of them in the final of the Caf Confederation Cup a few months after enduring the pain of losing the MTN8.

It was the same story but a different script for Pirates in 2016 when they were beaten by SuperSport United in the final of the Nedbank Cup at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

Matsatsantsa then hammered Pirates 4-1 at Moses Mabhida the following year to retain the Nedbank Cup.

Pirates will hope to put their woes to bed come Saturday in PE against Baroka FC.

The Limpopo-based side will contest their maiden final.

They rose to prominence in 2011 when they astonished the football fraternity, beating the cup kings of South African football, Amakhosi, 2-1 in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final.

They fell short in the semi-final against Black Leopards. They were still campaigning in the ABC Motsepe League during that time.

Baroka will hope to cause another major upset.

Pirates are favourites to lift the cup but Baroka have proven that they are no pushovers.

They have already achieved the unexpected in this competition. It was Baroka who dumped Mamelodi Sundowns out in the quarter-finals of the TKO.

Their fairytale run continued as they sent defending champions Bidvest Wits packing in the semi-finals of the competition.

It will be fitting if Baroka complete their successful cup run by claiming another big scalp.

If there’s one cup that has not been friendly to Pirates, it is the Telkom Knockout.

The Buccaneers have only lifted the cup once in their history and that was in 2011 when they defeated Wits 3-1 at Moses Mabhida.

It took Pirates 29 years to finally land South Africa’s league cup.

Orlando Pirates’ past five cup finals:

2017: Pirates 1-4 SuperSport United (Nedbank Cup)

2016: Pirates 2-3 SuperSport United (Nedbank Cup)

2015: Pirates 0-1 Etoile du Sahel (Caf Confederation Cup)

2015: Pirates 0-1 Kaizer Chiefs (MTN8)

2014: Pirates 3-1 Bidvest Wits (Nedbank Cup)

@Minenhlecr7


Sunday Independent

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