tasty cup treat

HIGH HOPES: Orlando Pirates' Guidione Macamo and Moroka Swallows' Rasta Mokhari. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 27/10/08. © Sowetan.
HIGH HOPES: Orlando Pirates' Guidione Macamo and Moroka Swallows' Rasta Mokhari. Pic. Antonio Muchave. 27/10/08. © Sowetan.

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows officials heaved a sigh of relief after the two sides drew each other in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals.

Both sides said they were happy to have avoided Lamontville Golden Arrows, who are fast proving to be giant killers in the Absa Premiership.

Pirates and Swallows will be meeting for the first time this season in a league match at Ellis Park tomorrow night, a dress-rehearsal for the knockout.

A clash between the two Soweto giants is one of the original derbies and there were some signs of excitement from the two camps.

The Birds' communication manager Siya Sangweni said they were still hungry for glory and that the players were looking forward to their league game tomorrow and the cup encounter.

Pirates had a poor start to the league , but they picked up form and probably have turned the corner after their win against Thanda Royal Zulu.

The Birds are on song and since the arrival of Zeca Marques as assistant to Julio Cesar Leal, the side has not conceded a goal and is playing entertaining football. They drew 1-all against Bay United but were humiliated 4-2 by Ajax Cape Town, however, since that defeat, they have regrouped and have not conceded a single goal.

"It's the real Soweto derby and we hope that the two sides will produce their best in this cup. It's a pity that we're meeting in the quarterfinals, but any team that wins will annex the trophy," said Sangweni.

Pirates' spokesman Mickey Modisane said their win over Royal Zulu had boosted their confidence and they were happy to play away in this competition.

"Our technical staff have been studying Swallows, we know their strengths and weaknesses, so we're going to take advantage of that."

The Birds' combination up front of David Radebe and Phumelele "Ace" Bhengu is bound to haunt the Bucs back four.

The two are fast and have hit top form in recent games. But Pirates cannot be taken for granted, and are brimming with quality.

PSL chief executive Kjetil Siem said: "We have games all over the country, which means we are reaching all our fans."

Siem apologised on behalf of the league at the draw: "The Cup Committee made a mistake with regards to the draw of the home and away [teams] and we had to redo it. I would like to thank the clubs and the media for the spirit in which they took the decision of the re-draw."