Pirates, Wits in Cup final showdown
Orlando Pirates and Bidvest Wits will meet in the 2011 Telkom Knockout final at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday evening, kick-off at 8:15pm (SA, CAT, GMT+2).
This will be the 10th official cup meeting of the teams since 1985 and the first since the 2004/05 season.
In the nine previous cup games between the teams Wits have traditionally had the edge, claiming four outright wins to Pirates’ two and winning the only penalty shootout.
The sides last met in a cup game in 2004/05 – the Clever Boys won 2-1 in a SAA Supa8 quarterfinal. In fact Wits have prevailed in the last three knockout games between the sides, including the1995 Coca-Cola Cup final, a fore runner of the Telkom Knockout.
Wits may also have something of a psychological edge, having claimed an emphatic 3-1 win over the Buccaneers when the teams met in an Absa Premiership match last month. Ryan Chapman and Sibusiso Vilakazi shared the Students’ goals, while Siyabonga Sangweni netted a late consolation for the Soweto side.
Overall, Wits and Pirates have met in 61 official matches across all competitions since 1985. Bucs have 23 wins, the Clever Boys 16, and 22 matches have been drawn.
Wits are in the final after claiming wins over AmaZulu, Jomo Cosmos and Santos in the last 16, quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.
This season marks the first time that the Clever Boys have reached a Telkom Knockout final since the tournament’s inception in 2006.
Overall, Wits have played eight Telkom Knockout matches with a record of three wins and five losses.
The University-based team has won this cup competition twice in the past: 1985 when it was known as the John Player Special Knockout Cup and 1995 when it was the Coca-Cola Cup.
Pirates have reached the final for a second successive year thanks to victories over Black Leopards, Moroka Swallows and Golden Arrows in the last 16, quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.
This is the third time that Bucs will be appearing in a Telkom Knockout final since the tournament’s inception in 2006. In 2008/09 they were beaten 2-1 by Ajax Cape Town and last season they fell 3-0at the hands of Kaizer Chiefs.
Overall, Pirates have played 17 Telkom Knockout matches with a record of 12 wins, two draws and three losses.
The Soweto giants have appeared in no less than six previous finals in this cup competition (in its various guises) down the years and have suffered heartbreak in all of them – 1987, 1990, 1995, 2000/01, 2008/09 & 2010/11.