IT HAS been dubbed “Round 2”!
Some are simply calling it a grudge match.
But the jokesters, who are always looking to provoke a reaction, refer to the event as “6-1 reloaded”.
Officially, however, and especially among the sponsors, it is known as the second Telkom Knockout semifinal.
SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates will renew their rivalry at Mbombela Stadium for this mouth-watering “revenge” clash tomorrow at 6pm – at the venue where Bucs suffered a 6-1 humiliation to United in the league weeks ago.
But Matsatsantsa a Pitori will come up against a new, fired-up Pirates under the watchful eye of coach Augusto Palacios.
Palacios and midfied star Mpho Makola went out way of their yesterday to emphasise they were not looking to avenge the recent 6-1 defeat or the 3-2 Nedbank Cup final loss to Matsatsantsa in May.
But there is a new mood and togetherness in the Bucs camp since Palacios replaced Muhsin Ertugral, who quit after the 6-1 defeat.
“Every coach is different,” said Makola.
“We’re all smiles in the dressing-room – not to say there were no smiles under Muhsin. But the mood is different and maybe that is down to the new coach.
“As players it was heartbreaking to lose 6-1 and the Nedbank Cup to SuperSport. The odds favour them. But we want to play in the final.”
Matsatsantsa skipper Dean Furman said: “That 6-1 result will have no bearing on Saturday’s match. It would be foolish to lose focus and be complacent. We come up against a team that have won their last three games, so this is going to be a tough game for us.”
Palacios said reputations and names meant nothing when it comes to selecting his side: “I pick players on form. I have a few injury worries but won’t be making a lot of changes, as things are working for us.”
Baxter has Cole Alexander and Dove Wome fit again, and said: “We come up against a different Pirates with an experienced and battle-hardened coach who allows his players to express themselves.”
- Meanwhile, Cape Town City suffered a hammer blow ahead of their TKO semifinal showdown with Free State Stars at the Athlone Stadium tomorrow (3pm).
City lost both their central defenders, Tshepo Gumede and Robyn Johannes, following their stunning 3-2 Absa Premiership win over Maritzburg United at the same venue on Tuesday. Both are suspended.
Head coach Eric Tinkler said yesterday the suspensions would force him to reshuffle his defence.
The coach will likely bring back Latvian defender Renars Roda and former Ghana Under-20 player Joseph Adjel to man the defence.