Pirates brace for stormy encounter

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Orlando Pirates won round one against Moroka Swallows last week but they will need to be at their best to clinch round two on Saturday because The Birds can ruffle feathers this time round.

Swallows host Pirates in the quarterfinal of the Telkom Knockout at Olympia Park Stadium in Rustenburg at 8pm.

Their confrontation on Saturday comes 10 days after The Buccaneers registered a hard-fought but morale-lifting 1-0 win over Swallows in a league match in Johannesburg.

Pirates know what Swallows can offer in this game and they are correctly refusing to read much into their midweek win over Julio Leal's side.

Bucs also know the importance of winning this original Soweto derby and they are fired up. Thulasizwe Mbuyane, who struck the goal that clipped The Birds' feathers, said Swallows have a bone to pick with them and will want is to win the match emphatically.

"They know what another defeat will mean to their pride and they will refuse to lose again," Mbuyane said after yesterday morning's training session at Johannesburg Stadium.

"That goal really inspired me and obviously I want to go out there to score another one. I know that Pirates have not won a trophy for a long time and I told myself that I want to help them win something when I joined them this season."

Speedy winger Lebohang "Cheeseboy" Mokoena said they would treat this derby like the one against Kaizer Chiefs.

"It's a derby and a cup match, and we should brace ourselves for a very tough match," he said.

"What is interesting here is that they know what to expect from us and we also know what to expect from them. It is our aim to win this tournament and challenge for other trophies and the championship and we have quality players to achieve this feat."

Mokoena returned to competitive football against Swallows last week after a long ayoff caused by a knee injury.

The spirit among Pirates players at training was high.