Pirates, Citizens in a must-win tie

Benni McCarthy.
Benni McCarthy.
Image: Gallo Images / Bertram Malgas

The penultimate league match between Cape Town City and Orlando Pirates at Athlone Stadium tomorrow (3pm) has all the ingredients to be a thriller.

This is because a lot is at stake in this clash.

The table-topping Buccaneers, who are unbeaten in their last five games, with four straight wins and a draw, aim to hold onto their top spot until the end.

On the other hand, the Citizens know a defeat will end their slim title hopes. So, neither team can afford to lose.

Interestingly, even City's coach Benni McCarthy and his Pirates counterpart Milutin Sredojevic have hyped this clash.

While he downplayed their title chances, McCarthy has made it clear that a win is still a must as they want to make the title race remains interesting and to be decided on the last day.

"I think Saturday will be the perfect time to ruffle a few feathers and just unpin that hand grenade and drop it there and see what happens,'' said McCarthy.

Sredojevic moved swiftly to respond to the Citizens mentor's wish of inflicting pain on the Sea Robbers. Micho, as the Bucs coach is affectionately known, cannot wait to see McCarthy's "hand grenades".

"We respect them; let's see what those football hand grenades are. We know where the danger lies and we want to eliminate that danger,'' said Micho at the PSL offices in Parktown yesterday after scooping the coach of the month award for March/April.

"In the same moment, we have firepower that could throw those grenades back. In a way, this is the beauty of football. very happy that we are going to have this test of character.''

Bucs are on 53 points, three ahead of second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns. As they have a better goal difference than Downs, winning both their remaining matches could guarantee Pirates the championship.

Micho concedes his players are confident of clinching the title, emphasising the significance of staying level-headed in the run-in to the title.

"Practically, the confidence is high, but in football you have no right to fly when it is good."

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