Birds and Bucs steal the thunder in cup matches

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

A total 15 games of the Absa Cup last- 32 stage will be played this weekend.

But there is no doubt that the spotlight will be trained on the cream of the round, the original Soweto derby between Moroka Swallows and Orlando Pirates at Potchefstroom's Olen Park tomorrow night.

And yesterday, brickbats were already flying between the two camps.

Swallows' general manager Sipho Xulu and Pirates' spokesman Mickey Modisane tore into each other before the big game.

Xulu said they were not going to be lenient, like they did in their two past games against Bucs, in which they allowed their opponents to come back and eventually hold them to a draw.

"It's war. I mean it and as soon as we're through with Pirates, they will be pulverised beyond recognition," said Xulu.

Modisane retorted: "We're going to rattle them. As soon as we're finished with them Swallows won't be flying anymore because they will be walking Birds.

"This is a do-or-die affair and there is no way that they will survive this time round."

Xulu said they were a rejuvenated side and were looking at reclaiming the trophy they won in 2004 when it was launched.

On their way to capturing this cup, they also beat Pirates and are determined to repeat this feat.

He said he was worried about three players in the Bucs' ensemble: the hard working Benedict Vilakazi, Mulondo Sikhwivhilu and Manuel "Tico Tico" Bucuane.

He added that Vilakazi, short as he is, was Pirates' livewire while Bucuane was very dangerous as far as scoring goals was concerned.

Players who are bound to sink the Pirates ship are the tall Mame Niang, grafter Lefa Tsutsulupa, the tricky Cecil Oersen and captain Goodman Mazibuko.

Xulu said Evans Gwekerere and Songwe Chalwe were now on song and will easily penetrate the Pirates defence which is at times erratic .

Modisane said the troublesome Niang would be marked tight by former teammate Gary MacNab, who is familiar with the Swallows setup.