Baroka's road to the TKO final should be warning to Bucs

Mduduzi Mdantsane of Baroka FC.
Mduduzi Mdantsane of Baroka FC.
Image: Gallo Images/ Ashley Vlotman

You can write Baroka off at your peril ahead of their Telkom Knockout final against Orlando Pirates at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday (6pm).

Bucs appear to be hot favourites to win their first trophy since 2014, but Bakgaga's road to the final wasn't an easy one and that should serve as a warning.

The Limpopo side saw off Golden Arrows 2-0 in the last 16 before beating Mamelodi Sundowns 2-0 in the quarterfinals and reached the decider by beating defending champions Bidvest Wits 1-0.

Baroka captain Mduduzi Mdantsane has warned Pirates that they are getting better with each game and are ready for the fight.

"Playing against Pirates is a motivation itself and for us to be where we are, I think we really deserve it. We've worked hard and we've been encouraging each other," Mdantsane said.

The 23-year-old further said that Baroka deserve some recognition for getting past some difficult opponents to book their place in the final.

"You know Sundowns is a good and strong team. It's a motivation as well and Wits are the defending champions, so it was a motivation from the beginning.

"The belief we had helped us a lot, because no one [in the team] looked down and discouraged us. We just kept on believing in each other and I think that's the key to be in the final," he said.

Baroka didn't need extra time in any of their three matches and Mdantsane said they also would prefer to end the final in 90 minutes.

"We told ourselves that we can't do extra [time]. It's either we win or lose," he continued.

"I think everyone is ready and happy - the mood is high. We are excited and looking forward to the final. I think we are starting to connect now and we are gelling very well. We've been practicing all the finishing at training and I think it's working right now."