HISTORY beckons for defending Nedbank Cup champions SuperSport United, who could become the first team to retain the trophy and bag the R6 million in prize money two years in a row.
But Orlando Pirates are desperate to end the 2016-17 PSL season with a cup in their bare trophy cabinet. SuperSport have bragging rights as reigning champions after defeating the very same Pirates 3-2 last year.
Matsatsantsa a Pitori and the Buccaneers meet in the cup’s 10th anniversary year at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow (8.15pm).
The one thing Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret and SuperSport assistant coach Kaitano Tembo agree on is that past results between the two teams will count for nothing in KZN tomorrow.
Tickets are projected to be sold out by the end of the day, with Bucs fans in particular eager to see whether their team can pull off a victory, while SuperSport supporters would like to see a proper send-off for outgoing Stuart Baxter.
Bookmakers tip SuperSport for victory, as they have enjoyed a good run against Bucs in recent years.
The ever-smiling and jolly Jonevret said his players were as sharp as knives for this final and could not wait to send SuperSport packing: “We’ve been working hard for this match for over five weeks now. At first I was worried my players would be unfocused at training due to the long wait for this final. I was surprised by their commitment, especially in the last two weeks.
“We know SuperSport have dominated us in the past but that will play no role tomorrow.”
Tembo agreed with Jonevret that “you are only as good as your last match”.
Said Tembo: “Psychologically we are well prepared and ready for this match. Just because we’ve been doing well against them doesn’t mean we will continue. What happened in the past remains there.
“This is a new game – and a cup final. Anything can happen. We are fully aware that Pirates didn’t have a good season. We will approach this match wary of such things. They are not to be taken lightly.”
The teams come into this match having won the cup twice in the Nedbank era.