Will Stars shine again?

2013-12-01 10:00

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Pirates hope to end trophy drought.

Orlando Pirates will be aiming for revenge and making their third consecutive final count while Platinum Stars would want to make it two in a row when the sides contest the Telkom Knockout final in Mbombela on Saturday evening.

Kickoff is at 8:15pm.

Failure to win will further confirm Pirates’ “bridesmaids” reputation and prolong their trophy drought, which dates back to last year.

Their success has been such that they’ve at least won one trophy in the past three years.

Pirates go back to the venue where they lifted the Nedbank Cup in 2011 – the last trophy they won – hoping to end the year on a high and get an early Christmas present.

Avenging the Durban penalty shootout defeat in September will be high on their agenda.

Stars, on the other hand, are hoping that by the time they go home they will be R4.25?million richer – to add to the R8?million they pocketed by winning the MTN8 trophy in September.

The Rustenburg team has been on the road to Joburg where they knocked out Kaizer Chiefs last weekend and twice in Durban – to play against AmaZulu midweek and Golden Arrows yesterday.

Their next move is to Mbombela for Saturday’s final against Orlando Pirates.

No one would have bet on Allan Freese reaching his second Cup final in as many months.

After the protracted departure of Cavin Johnson in the off-season, Freese was thrown in at the deep end on a temporal arrangement but the 57-year-old has adapted very well in a short period.

This proves that he was hands-on during Johnson’s tenure as he has not made many changes in the team.

Pressure is on Roger De Sa to break his trophy duck with the Buccaneers since joining last year.

Pirates will rely on Andile Jali in the middle of the park while Stars will look to Robert Ng’ambi, who has shown consistency.

The MTN8 final is well remembered for Benson Mhlongo’s rather untimely outburst when he accused Pirates of nearly ending his career.

Mhlongo, now with Stars, stunned the country when he alleged that Pirates wanted him to sign insurance papers declaring he could no longer play.

It remains to be seen whether the rant will continue or Pirates will have the last laugh.

Telkom Knockout past finals

2012: Sundowns 0 – 1 Bloem Celtic

2011: Orlando Pirates 3 – 0 Bidvest Wits

2010: Orlando Pirates 0 – 3 Kaizer Chiefs

2009: Ajax Cape Town 1 – 2 Kaizer Chiefs

2008: Orlando Pirates 1 – 2 Ajax Cape Town

2007: Sundowns 0 – 0 Kaizer Chiefs (Chiefs win 3-2 on penalty shoot-out)

2006: Platinum Stars 1 – 0 Ajax Cape Town

Figures to remember

R4.25mPrize money

 R12.25mTotal prize money for Stars IF they win on Saturday after pocketing R8 million from the MTN8

1 Both have lifted this trophy once – Stars (2006), Pirates (2011)

2 Pirates have lost twice in the final – to Kaizer Chiefs (2010) and Ajax (2008)

3 This is Pirates’ third cup final of the year – MTN8, CAF Champions League

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