• Igesund expects Baroka to stun Pirates in TKO final

    Former Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund believes that Baroka could upset Orlando Pirates to clinch the Telkom Knockout trophy.

    The Buccaneers made their way into the final after claiming a 2-1 victory over rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-final.

    Meanwhile, Bakgaga put Bidvest Wits to the sword by clinching a narrow 1-0 win at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in their respective semi-final encounter.

    However, the two sides are set to face off in the final, which takes place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

    Although Igesund is keen to see Baroka stun Pirates, he is backing his former employers to win the trophy and end their four-year trophy drought.

    ‘I think it’s a big game for both teams. It sets the standard for different reasons and it would be good for Pirates to win it and it will motivate them,’ Igesund told Goal.

    ‘I remember coaching Pirates, we won the BP Top 8 in 2001 and we went on to challenge and win the league title.

    ‘It will be very good for them to win the trophy on Saturday and go on to push for the championship, but Baroka are also looking at taking an opportunity for them to win.

    ‘I don’t think they (Baroka) are thinking about the league title and I doubt they are capable of winning it as yet, but because this is a once-off opportunity for them they will challenge and give their best on this one.

    ‘They are in their first final and I think there’s a possibility for them to win, but they face a very strong and an experienced team in Pirates,’ Igesund said.

    The former Bafana Bafana mentor expects Bakgaga to give the Buccaneers a run for their money, although Pirates have the experience in the competition, while Baroka may be banking on their ‘giant killer’ status after eliminating the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits.

    ‘You know there are no underdogs in a cup final, especially against an experienced or a fashionable side as Pirates, because the stage is motivating on its own,’ he added.

    ‘Baroka have a chance to give Pirates a tough time. It’s a once-off occasion for them and you can’t rule that out.’

    ‘It’s not easy to say there are favourites in a cup final. However, Pirates have quality, experience of playing in such games and they are doing well in the league, but it can go either way.

    ‘They [Pirates] are always a team challenging for trophies, just like Sundowns and Chiefs, but we cannot say the same thing about Baroka.

    ‘I am sure they will want to prove that they are capable of winning things because they have come up against big teams in Sundowns and Wits. They are not in the final by accident, and I hope that Pirates will take note of that,’ he concluded.

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