celtic draw hot bucs in ke yona
Club representatives spoke in hushed tones about the Orlando Pirates juggernaut at the Nedbank Cup last-16 draw yesterday, and most of them were excited when their teams avoided the Buccaneers.
But Bloemfontein Celtic could not avoid Pirates and many people at the draw were convinced they will not proceed to the quarterfinals of Ke Yona.
This feeling was shared by a number of people who called Sowetan to enquire about the draw yesterday. The matches will be played on the weekend of March 20 to 22, and the competitions committee is yet to decide the venues.
Khumbulani Konco, Celtic's team manager, tried to put on a brave face after the draw and described it as "fair".
"I know many people think that this is a tough draw for us, but we are competing in the same league with Pirates and we should compete against them," said Konco. "They beat us in the [Telkom] cup competition this season and also in the first round of the Premiership, but we are not going to be demoralised by past results. Our main focus will remain on our league campaign, but this does not mean we will surrender in this tournament."
Mickey Modisane, Pirates' publicist, would not be drawn into predicting a win over Celtic, but he was happy with the draw.
"It will be suicidal of us to undermine them, but we are meeting them when the team is playing well. We are certainly not going to take our foot off the pedal," he said.
The rest of draw (home teams listed first) is:
Celtic v Pirates, Peace Lovers v Moroka Swallows, Nathi Lions v Ajax Cape Town, Mamelodi Sundowns v Platinum Stars, Santos v Maritzburg United, Ikapa Sporting v Winners Park, Bay United v Black Leopards and Pretoria University v Kaizer Chiefs.