United to test Bucs

2010-11-04 09:11

SuperSport United will look for redemption when they host Orlando Pirates in what promises to be a no holds barred Telkom Knockout quarter-final showdown in Pretoria on Saturday night.

United, who have won three back-to-back Absa Premiership titles, are going through a tough time and are desperate to get their season back on track after home losses to title chasing Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns in the league.

“This match (Pirates) could be the turning point for us,” said United midfielder Dipsy Selolwane.

“It is not like we are playing badly, but we are struggling for goals and guilty of giving away bad goals.

“We believe we are turning the corner and that better days are close. We did not become a bad side overnight.

“We have to keep the faith and things will improve. A win over Pirates and a place in the knockout semi-finals would be the perfect tonic.”

Strikers Anthony Laffor and Lemessa Fikru wasted numerous chances to kill off Chiefs but failed to find the back of the net. Both will need to chalk their shooting books at Loftus.

Selolwane, the Botswana international, is keen to pit his skills against the highly rated Bucs engineroom where former United star winger Daine Klate has been in dazzling form along with Isaac Chansa, Clifford Ngobeni and Dikgang Mabalane.

Selolwane said Pirates had been impressive so far this season.

“Pirates are playing well. They have a good side but we are up for this challenge,” he said.

Klate, who won three successive league titles with United, said it would be an “emotional night” for him when he faces his former teammates.

“But having said that, I have a job to do to help Pirates beat United and that is what I will be doing.”

Klate also believes his former club will be on the mend in the near future.

“Despite their poor run at present SuperSport are still a formidable side and have top quality players. We face a tough cup tie,” he said.

Pirates are fresh off a 3-0 thumping of Ajax Cape Town who were unbeaten in their league campaign until they met the fired up Bucs at Orlando Stadium at the weekend.

Bucs coach Ruud Krol, however, said he was impressed with United despite their recent form.

“All sides have ups and downs in the season,” Krol said.

“We went through that when we lost to (Mpumalanga Black) Aces in the league, and hopefully on Saturday it will be our night, but I respect United.

“Cup matches are unpredictable and we are preparing for a big fight.”

United coach Gavin Hunt was still troubled by injuries but hoped his side’s luck would turn.

“This will be a new ball game. We were unlucky against Chiefs and Sundowns, but that’s the way if goes,” Hunt said.

“We are determined to get back onto the winning track and we believe this will be the game to do it.”

Chiefs play Free State Stars at Rand Stadium in what should be a routine win for Amakhosi, who are the only unbeaten side in the league and reached the semifinals of the MTN8 knockout cup.

In Saturday’s other clash Santos play Aces at Athlone Stadium.

In Sunday’s only cup tie Sundowns travel to Pietermaritzburg’s Harry Gwala Stadium where they face dark horses Martizburg United.


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