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Nedbank Cup drama on the cards

Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 10:07

Football and theatre are very similar. With its action and hubris, millions of football followers have long admired the Beautiful Game as a game akin to their own art.

Come Saturday evening, another theatrical episode will be on display at the Moses Mabhida Stadium when Orlando Pirates take on SuperSport United.

The Ghost – as the supporters are affectionately known, will be hoping for a beautiful ending to what has been somwe what of a horror show of season.

Love Affair With Nedbank Cup

The Mighty Buccaneers seem to love playing in this competition. When they take to the field on Saturday to face Matsatsantsa a Pitori, this will be the Club’s fourth appearance in the final of the competition.

Since the name and sponsor change of the competition in 2008, Pirates have enjoyed a more successful run in the competition which is regarded as South Africa’s own version of the English FA Cup. Prior to 2008, it took Pirates eight years to feature in two finals, once in 1998 and again in 2006.

Drama Packed Finals

Often, finals fail to live up to their expectations -matches tend to be highly defensive and tactical. However, when Pirates have been involved in the Nedbank Cup final, the matches have been action-packed affairs.

In the three finals they have played, Pirates have registered two victories against Black Leopards (in 2011) and Bidvest Wits (in 2014) , winning 3-1 in both encounters. Ironically, in both matches, they had to come from a goal down to win the match.

However, fast-forward to last year when Pirates faced SuperSport United in the final, it would be United who would return the favour.

Pirates went ahead courtesy of a goal from Luvuyo Memela as early in the 12th minute but United responded with three goals from Brockie, Gobler and Boxall before a consolation own goal in the 53rd minute by Clayton Daniels.

History Books

As if the competition needed more excitement, the triumphant team on Saturday evening will not only have the bragging rights for the year but will also bag the coveted Nedbank Cup trophy for the third time. United have won this competition in 2012 and 2016 while the Buccaneers conquered in 2011 and 2014.

According to the history books, choosing a winner for this encounter will be a difficult exercise.

The teams have only met once in a final since the inception of the Premier Soccer League in 1996.

In terms of the most recent head-to-head encounters however, United have enjoyed an unbeaten run of six matches against. The last time Pirates tasted victory over United was a 4-1 drubbing in 2014.

Of the last ten encounters between the two, a total of 31 goals have been scored, with Pirates netting 12 and United 19.

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