makonese: bucs poser

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Orlando Pirates coach Rudi Krol could be tempted to start with Zvenyika Makonese when they face the Zimbabwean defender's former employers, Santos, in an Absa Premiership contest at Athlone Stadium tomorrow.

It could be the right decision by Krol to consider Makonese for this match whick kicks off at 3.30pm as he still has fresh memories of the Santos setup.

Makonese's arrival at Pirates last week will create healthy competition at the back. The Buccaneers' defence is the stingiest in the league.

David Bright, Santos' coach, is likely not to be threatened by Makonese, though, because he knows him much better than Krol.

Santos will want to achieve at home what Pirates failed to do in Johannesburg in the first round.

That match ended in a 1-1 stalemate after Pirates allowed Jerome Ramatlhakwane to squeeze in an 86th-minute equaliser. Defender Lucas Thwala, who is suspended, had put Pirates ahead with a fine header two minutes earlier.

Teko Modise, who is back to strengthen the visitors, will be more cautious when it comes to taking a penalty, if they get one tomorrow.

His goal from the spot kick was disallowed by the referee after a stop-start run before kicking the ball.

Modise failed to convert the re-take, thanks to the agility of goalie and former teammate Francis Chansa.

Ramatlhakwane is a doubtful starter for this match, but Santos were confident yesterday the forward would pass a late fitness test.

While Pirates played last weekend, Santos didn't but Bright is not worried that this might affect their rhythm.

Erwin Isaacs, whose strike earned Santos full points against Bay United in their last match could cause problems for Pirates. But bad news for the home side's fans is that Bonginkosi Macala is suspended.

Back to bolster Pirates is their No 1 goalie Moeneeb Josephs who will replace Senzo Meyiwa, whose schoolboy blunder against Bay United last Saturday denied them a win.

A win for Pirates will temporarily catapult them to the second spot on the log, as second-placed Ajax Cape Town will only play on Sunday.