Pirates, Wits brace for Nedbank Cup final

2014-05-16 13:54

Orlando Pirates assistant coach Eric Tinkler says his side need to be wary of the threat posed by the outstanding Wits captain Sibusiso Vilakazi when the two sides meet in the Nedbank Cup final in Durban tomorrow.

The attacking midfielder has been one of the stand-out players in South African football this season and will be looking to crown his season with a title.

“He’s been one of the best players this season without a shadow of a doubt,” Tinkler said.

“He’s a great player and we’ll need to be at our best to control him, especially on the ball, where he is very creative.”

Tinkler, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder, said Pirates were capable of curbing the young attacker who has scored in the last three rounds of the cup for the Students.

“We have dealt with him in the past. What we need is to be more focused on ourselves and our own strengths and look at where their weaknesses lie.

“Without a doubt they’re very strong going forward, but we have a great defensive record this season, keeping 11 clean sheets. Our biggest problem has been going forward and scoring goals.”

Although Pirates will be without the injured Lennox Bacela, Tinkler felt they had enough cover for the veteran striker.

Bacela suffered a season-ending foot injury recently and will be the only major absentee for the game after Happy Jele, Tlou Segolela and Thandani Ntshumayelo were all declared fit.

The only major absentee for Wits is Burundi star Papy Faty, out with a knee injury sustained last month.

Led by Vilakazi, the Students have been one of the outstanding attacking sides this season and their assistant coach, Paul Johnson, expected the 24-year-old to be a central figure in the game.

“He’s had a fantastic season. He’s our captain and has led by example,” Johnson said.

“From a harsh or more critical point of view, he should have scored more goals than he has – at least 20, to be honest. He knows that and can take that criticism.

“I think he’ll be chomping at the bit to score again in the final.”

Tickets for the game were sold out by mid-afternoon yesterday with a capacity crowd of over 50 000 expected.

Wits coach Gavin Hunt will be competing in his third straight Nedbank Cup final after leading former club SuperSport to the title in 2011/12 and ending runners-up with them last season.

For Pirates, it is their final chance to win silverware this season, after they lost three other finals – the MTN8, the Telkom Knockout and CAF Champions League.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.