• TKO Preview: Baroka vs Orlando Pirates

    Orlando Pirates will be hoping to end their four-year trophy drought when they take on ‘giant killers’ Baroka in the Telkom Knockout final on Saturday.

    Previous Meetings

    2016/17
    Baroka 1 (Masuluke) Pirates 1 (Chabalala)
    Pirates 1 (Sarr) Baroka 1 (Letsoalo)

    2017/18
    Baroka 1 (Banda) Pirates 1 (Qalinge)
    Pirates 3 (Nyatama, Memela 2) Baroka 1 (Mdantsane pen)

    2018/19
    Baroka 1 (Makgantai) Pirates 2 (Pule, Lorch)

    Summary

    League matches played are in brackets

                                                  Total            Baroka      Pirates

                                                                        Home        Home

    Played                                      5 (5)             3 (3)             2 (2)

    Baroka won                            0                   0                    0

    Pirates won                            2 (2)             1 (1)               1 (1)

    Drawn                                     3 (3)             2 (2)              1 (1)

    Baroka goals                          5 (5)             3 (3)              2 (2)

    Pirates goals                          8 (8)             4 (4)              4 (4)

    Goalscorers

    Baroka
    1 goal – Masuluke, Letsoalo, Banda, Mdantsane, Makgantai

    Orlando Pirates
    2 goals – Memela
    1 – Chabalala, Sarr, Qalinge, Nyatama, Pule, Lorch

    Records

    Baroka biggest win: 3-1 (2017/18)
    Pirates biggest win: –
    Most goals in a game: 4 – Pirates 3 Baroka 1 (2017/18)

    Match Facts

    This will be the first ever cup meeting between Baroka and Orlando Pirates and just the sixth clash between the sides overall.

    Baroka FC have yet to taste victory against Pirates, with their first three encounters all ending in 1-1 draws, followed a 3-1 home success for The Buccaneers and a 2-1 away win earlier this season.

    Thembinkosi Lorch and Vincent Pule were on the scoresheet for Pirates in that league win earlier in the campaign on September 22, with Botswana international Onkabetse Makgantai netting a consolation for Baroka.

    All five of the previous clashes between these teams have seen both sides on the scoresheet, with neither yet able to keep a clean sheet. That includes dramatic late equalisers, with the most famous being former Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke’s 95th minute over-head kick that was nominated for the 2017 Fifa Puskas Award.

    Baroka are yet to concede a goal in their three Telkom Knockout matches so far in 2018, securing wins over Lamontville Golden Arrows (2-0), Mamelodi Sundowns (2-0) and Bidvest Wits (1-0).

    Baroka are appearing in a first ever cup final having twice before made the semi-finals of the country’s FA Cup, in the first instance while still a third-tier side in 2011. They beat another Soweto giant, Kaizer Chiefs, on their run to the Last 4.

    Pirates are appearing in a ninth Telkom Knockout final, but have only claimed victory once, also in 2011. There they beat BidVest Wits 3-1 in the final to end their long wait to lift the trophy.

    Pirates forward Thembinkosi Lorch goes into the final as the top-scorer in this year’s competition with three goals, two against AmaZulu in the quarterfinals and one versus Kaizer Chiefs in the semis.

    Baroka are seeking a first ever piece of major silverware while Pirates have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in May 2014, a wait that will be extended to five years at least if they are not victorious in the Telkom Knockout decider.

    Either coach, Wedson Nyirenda [Baroka] and Micho Sredojevic [Pirates] will earn a first piece of silverware in South African football when one of them ends up on the winning side at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

    Tournament Facts

    The Telkom Knockout was first played in 1982 as the Datsun Challenge, with the inaugural winners being Arcadia Shepherds, who defeated Highlands Park 2-0 in a replay after their initial match had finished 1-1.

    Kaizer Chiefs are the most successful club in the tournament’s history, winning 13 of their 17 finals to date. They have appeared in almost half of the 36 finals played.

    Orlando Pirates by contrast have a poor record in the competition, reaching eight finals and winning just one (2011). They have appeared in four of the last eight deciders, but their 2011 effort against BidVest Wits (3-1) was their only success.

    After Kaizer Chiefs, the next highest number of tournament wins is three, with Mamelodi Sundowns having reached that mark in their 2015 victory and defending champions BidVest Wits notched their third in 2017. Ajax Cape Town, Jomo Cosmos, the now defunct Platinum Stars and Umtata Bush Bucks each have two wins.

    Since Telkom took over their sponsorship of the tournament in 2006, there have been nine different winners – Kaizer Chiefs (three titles), Platinum Stars (two), Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates, Bloemfontein Celtic, SuperSport United, Mamelodi Sundowns, Cape Town City and BidVest Wits.

    There have also been eight losing finalists – Orlando Pirates (three times), Mamelodi Sundowns (two), Ajax Cape Town (two), BidVest Wits, Platinum Stars, Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United and Bloemfontein Celtic.

    The biggest winning margin in a Telkom Knockout competition final was 5-0 when Kaizer Chiefs defeated Jomo Cosmos in 2001.

    Since Telkom took over sponsorship of the competition in 2006, the 12 finals have been played at 10 different venues:

    2006/07 – Lucas Moripe Stadium, Atteridgeville
    2007/08 – Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
    2008/09 – Chatsworth Stadium, Durban
    2009/10 – King’s Park Stadium, Durban
    2010/11 – FNB Stadium, Soweto
    2011/12 – Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
    2012/13 – Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
    2013/14 – Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
    2014/15 – Orlando Stadium, Soweto
    2015/16 – Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
    2016/17 – Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
    2017/18 – Princess Magogo Stadium, Durban

    Photo: Kabelo Leputu/BackpagePix

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