Usuthu looking to put Nedbank Cup exit behind them as they clash with Pirates again

Written by on 19 April, 2024

By Ayanda Nyuswa

AmaZulu FC will be looking to put the dissapointment of their Nedbank Cup exit behind them when they travel to face the very same team that knocked them out in the quarterfinals of South Africa’s Premier cup competition, Orlando Pirates in a DSTV Prem clash on Saturday. The Buccaneers recorded a hard fought 4-2 victory over the KZN side to extend their impressive record of never losing a match against Usuthu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium since it opened for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This will be the third meeting between the two sides this season, as the first league match ended in a goalless draw in Durban. Usuthu is just two points off the top eight with seven matches to go in the season, meanwhile Pirates are three points behind second placed Stellenbosch FC and will look to intensify their fight for the second CAF Champions League spot with a win this weekend.

The Nedbank Cup clash provided fireworks on and off the pitch last weekend, as a fiery Pablo Franco Martin expressed his unhapiness about some officiating decisions that went against his team even labelling the penalty awarded to Pirates for their first goal as “a scandal”. The Spanish mentor, presumably much calmer this time, says his players were dissapointed by the outcome of last weekends result and are looking forward to having another crack against the Buccaneers.

“Everyone is dissapointed and that is something that you have in your minds, but the good thing is now we have the opportunity to play them again. It is an away game so its going to be more difficult, we know the difficulties of playing and the challenges when facing Pirates in Orlando Stadium. We already saw and we already knew that they are not only one of the best teams in South Africa but in the whole continent,” the Spanish mentor said to AmaZulu FC media. 

“The good thing is that we already faced them twice this season, the first game we had one point when they had more time to rest and prepare the game than us. The second time in the same conditions, I think as I said we were very competitive we played one of the best games of the season, not only for us but I think in this country it was one of the best shows anyone has seen this season in the country. We know that we are going to have our possibilities if we adjust the things we didn’t control so good the other day, if we take advantage of the chances we are going to have and exploit their weaknesses,” Pablo Franco concluded.

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