Jerry Sikhosana warns Orlando Pirates that Baroka have bite
Orlando Pirates will underestimate Baroka FC in Saturday’s Telkom Knockout final at their peril‚ Buccaneers legend Jerry “Legs of Thunder” Sikhosana has warned his old team.
Sikhosana cautioned the club where he made his name as a tearaway 1990s striker with a thunderous shot and eye for goal that Baroka play good football under their Zambian coach‚ Wedson Nyirenda.
Nyirenda played for Pirates’ arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the same era as Sikhosana was at Bucs.
Pirates meet Baroka – who have felled both Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits in the TKO – in Saturday’s final at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth (kickoff 6pm).
“The most important thing is just a surprise package that nobody anticipated‚ because on Saturday you will see a team like Baroka taking on Orlando Pirates‚” Sikhosana said.
“For Pirates to be there‚ people are not surprised. But also to myself‚ I mean the football that Baroka have displayed recently is so interesting.
“And credit can go to Wedson Nyirenda. He’s a colleague who I’ve played football with‚ and I know his football mentality – he is a fighter.
“You wouldn’t expect teams like Sundowns not to be in the final‚ or Chiefs with a massive following to be out. But credit needs to be given to those who deserve it‚ especially Baroka.
“And let’s hope Pirates won’t underestimate Baroka. Because what they did so far is unprecedented. So‚ for me‚ we are looking forward to a good game on Saturday.
“Yes‚ people are talking about Orlando Pirates playing good football. Sometimes good football doesn’t give you results. Scoring goals gives you results.
“And I think this is what Baroka have been doing – scoring goals and making sure that they don’t give anything away.
“So it’s going to be a tightly-contested final. It’s all up to Baroka. I think the pressure is on Baroka.
“Pirates can relax because they know they can win it‚ but I think Baroka need to work out how they can get it.”
Baroka beat Lamontville Golden Arrows 2-0 in the TKO last-16‚ Sundowns 2-0 in the quarterfinals and Wits 1-0 in the semifinals.
They are struggling in 14th place in the Absa Premiership.
In-form PSL leaders Pirates beat Chippa United 1-0 in the first round of the Telkom‚ AmaZulu 3-1 in the quarters and Chiefs 2-1 in the semis.