bucs to bounce back

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Bruised Orlando Pirates resume their challenge for the league championship hoping to get a positive result against Bloemfontein Celtic tonight.

The two sides meet in an Absa Premiership match scheduled for 7.30 at Johannesburg Stadium, their second clash in less than a month.

In the first encounter, the Sea Robbers drubbed Phunya SeleSele 3-0 in a controversial Telkom Knockout semifinal at Chatsworth Stadium in Durban.

In that game, Celtic striker Geoffrey Sserenkuma was mistakenly sent off by referee Abdul Ebrahim, but the suspension was rescinded by Safa's review committee.

"It's a brand-new game, what happened in Durban is water under the bridge and we hope for a good result," said Celtic captain Patrick "Chippa" Malokase.

"We have a great coach in Mich D'Avray and good players, the only problem is that we are not scoring goals. But we hope for all the best in Johannesburg.

"Pirates have also not been doing well in the last two games [losing twice to Ajax Cape Town] but that does not mean it will be an easy match," added Malokase.

On the other hand, Pirates striker Siphelele "Scara" Mthembu said they were out to win their remaining two games in 2008 as a Christmas gift to their loyal supporters, The Ghost.

They host Celtic tonight and travel to Durban on Sunday for a clash with AmaZulu.

"There is no way we can afford to drop points as we need them badly to close the gap between the log leaders and ourselves.

"We don't want to disappoint our supporters again, so, we owe it to them to finish the season on a high note," said Mthembu.

The striker scored in their 2-1 defeat by Ajax in Ziwa Mo final on Saturday.

With Phunya SeleSele having a full squad, Pirates have doubtful starters in Benson Mhlongo, Teko Modise and Irvin Mhlambi with an assortment of injuries.

Bucs' publicist Mickey Modisane said they will give away Pirates T-shirts to the first 6 000 people at the game.