14 April, 2023
Orlando Pirates resume their Nedbank Cup campaign this coming weekend as they travel to Peter Mokaba Stadium to take on ABC Motsepe League outfit Dondol Stars in the first quarterfinal clash on Saturday.
For the third straight round in this year’s competition, the Soweto Giants face a side from the lower leagues in this season’s surprise package, who have only had to contend with top-flight opponents since the Last 32.
Pirates have had a couple of grand tussles in the earlier stages of the tournament as they advanced from the Round of 16 with a 2-0 win away to Championship outfit All Stars before a hard-fought 2-1 victory at home to Venda Football Academy, also from the first division.
They now head into Saturday’s fixture on a high, having collected a league win on the road in their last outing, and have displayed excellent form overall, with five straight wins in their last five games across competitions.
This excellent run includes three consecutive clean sheets, with 11 goals scored and just two conceded in five outings.
They will however be wary of the threat posed by the Tshwane outfit, following their remarkable giant-killing feats in the opening rounds.
Dondol defeated five-time Nedbank Cup champions SuperSport United in the Round 32, scoring twice in the second half to claim a 2-1 victory, before causing another upset in the subsequent round with a penalty shootout win against AmaZulu, which sent them through to the Last Eight.
Their excellent form has not only been confined to cup football, as they have also secured a spot in the promotion playoffs after winning four of their last five league games, scoring seven times and conceding just twice.
The switch to cup football could see few changes taking place in the Bucs camp, with the likes of Kermit Erasmus and Deon Hotto eyeing a return to the starting XI after featuring from the bench in recent weeks.
The visitors could also be boosted on the right side of the defence, with Thabiso Monyane and Craig Martin easing their way back to action as both look to make the match day squad after being briefly sidelined.
Players to Watch
A solid defensive effort will be required from the hosts on Saturday, and players like Francious Baloyi - whose Man of the Match display against SuperSport helped his side reach the Last 16 - will be integral to the team’s cause.
Dondol also have the former Matsatsansa development player Siphamandla Gumede between the poles, while vastly experienced skipper Kholofelo Monama pulls the strings in the middle of the park and will look to add to his goal tally, having already found the net in this year’s competition.
Up front, ex-Jomo Cosmos attacker Tebogo Makhungo is expected to lead the line once more after starting at centre-forward against SuperSport and AmaZulu.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides, with Dondol Stars featuring at this stage of the Nedbank Cup for the first time in the Club’s short history.
How to Watch Orlando Pirates vs Dondol Stars
The game is scheduled for a 15:00 kick off and will be broadcast live on SuperSport PSL. Live updates will be provided across Orlando Pirates social media platforms, as well as the Club’s official app.