United could give Downs a headache

Bay United's striker Luntu Mazana. 16/10/2005. © Gallo Images
Bay United's striker Luntu Mazana. 16/10/2005. © Gallo Images

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Bay United will face a mammoth task against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Telkom Knockout last-16 stage at Super Stadium on Saturday night (8pm).

The Eastern Cape outfit, who will be making their debut in this lucrative cup, have vowed to show their more experienced opponents the exit door, in what is bound to be an interesting encounter.

The side's communications manager Vuyo Mvoko said they were going to stick to their game plan that saw Orlando Pirates bite the dust in their recent league game in Port Elizabeth.

"We have no injuries and suspensions, so we'll be going out there for a win," he said.

"The players are bubbling with confidence and are looking forward to the game. Everybody is hard at training and the guys have vowed to do their best in this knockout game."

United stand a good chance of causing an upset simply because they are an unknown entity - a young team with players who can run all day.

The R4 million first prize could also be more of a motivation to the minnows than to their more illustrious, well paid opponents.

The star-studded and highly experienced Sundowns have played in countless knockout competitions.

But United said they were not going to allow the Brazilians to play their game.

Watsh Umlilo, who are the new kids on the bloc in the Premiership, will be relying on their hard-running front liners Abayomi Adebayo and Luntu Mazana.

Other key players are the hard-working Siyabulela Songwiqi and Garreth Ncaca who will be manning the midfield.

They also have a solid defence, which is led by Duran Francis.

Sundowns would be letting the cup slip if they underestimate their young opponents.

In another Telkom Knockout encounter Free State Stars host Maritzburg United at the Welkom Rugby Stadium on Saturday.

On Sunday, Moroka Swallows will be at home to Bidvest Wits at Olympia Park Stadium, Rustenburg.

And the KwaZulu-Natal side Thanda Royal Zulu, alias Amabhubesi, clash with Orlando Pirates at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban.