Downs, Bucs clash in epic encounter
The KwaZulu-Natal provincial government will pull out all stops for a memorable SAA Supa 8 Cup final at King's Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Kickoff is at 8pm.
The eagerly-awaited final will see some of southern Africa's soccer powerhouses - Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
The winners take home a cheque for R1, 3 million for their efforts, with the losers getting R750 000 in this last edition of the tournament.
The two crowd pullers will be making their first appearance in the final of this tournament since its inception in 2003.
Jomo Biyela, 2010 World Cup strategic manager for the department of sports and recreation, said they expect a big crowd, as usual.
"We all know that Durban has never disappointed when it comes to support for soccer.
"We will get a full house when there are big or small games taking place here," said Biyela.
"Saturday's match gives us an opportunity to showcase our passion for the sport, which is also good for the preparations for the 2010 World Cup.
"It will be a great match. The two sides command big support in KwaZulu-Natal."
After the untimely death of star midfielder Gift "Continental" Leremi, who was buried on Monday, the two sides are expected to dedicate the match to him.
Leremi was doing duty for Sundowns, the club he joined during the off-season from Amabhakabhaka, where he turned professional.
This would have been the first game where Leremi would face his former employers.
The Brazilians qualified for the final after defeating Jomo Cosmos 5-3 on penalties in the semis.
The usual suspect, Surprise Moriri, proved too naughty again with his penalty kick at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane two weeks ago.
Pirates beat SuperSport United 2-1 in Durban the following day in a game which saw coach Bibey Mutombo speaking in tongues after Josephy Kamwendo grabbed the winner.
While Sundowns returned to training yesterday after burying Leremi, Pirates have been busy at training as there were no Premiership matches at the weekend.
They played to a 2-2 draw against National First Division League side Witbank Spurs last Thursday.
The two local soccer giants are expected to arrive in Durban tomorrow morning, where they will get down to serious business in preparation for the final.