By FOCUS REPORTER
Orlando Pirates is seeking their first league championship in eight years, have a great chance of staying ahead of the chasing pack when they host Amazulu at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Kick-Off is at 3.30pm
In one of the closest title races in many years, there is a sense of anticipation among Buccaneers supporters that their long wait for the PSL trophy will soon be over.
Coach Ruud Krol, however, insists that, although his team is in the driving seat, he is not looking too far ahead and is focused solely on getting three points from their next match. A win over the Usuthu will ensure that they will maintain their position at the top of the table going into next weekend’s crucial Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs.
Krol appears to have managed to get his players into a winning groove, emphasising the need for mental strength to cope with the pressure of being frontrunners, and instilling the confidence to believe they can beat anybody. The manner with which they despatched Mamelodi Sundowns in their previous outing certainly removed all doubt that they possess the credentials to see of all challengers.
Pirates’ cause has been boosted by the return from injury of gifted midfielder Mark Mayambela and Dikgang Mabalane, who are both available to face Amazulu, to compensate for the absence of suspended winger Tlou Segolela. With the likes of Isaac Chansa and Andile Jali in control of the engine room and Katlego Mashego and Thulasizwe Mbuyane looking razor-sharp up front, it will require a special performance from the Durban-based club to upset the formbook. Yet, that is exactly what Pirates must guard against. Amazulu’s inconsistency makes them a tricky opponent because, while they have dropped points through average performances, they have also shown that they are capable of causing problems for any team and Krol has been working hard to prevent any complacency among his players.
“There are no easy games left in the league. Every match from now on is potentially decisive and there is no margin for error. The team needs the fans to be totally behind them, now more than ever. As the tension mounts, Vodacom, the Supporters’ Supporter, are there every step of the way to make sure fans Push iPassion to the next level,” said Vodacom’s Managing Executive: Marketing, Enzo Scarcella.
To get the build up under way, the Vodacom Gig Rig will be rolling into Maponya Mall today for a Road Show between 11am and 5pm, where members of the public can come down and meet some of their favourite Bucs stars, as well as win prizes including Pirates merchandise and Vodacom vouchers, all against a backdrop of rocking tunes and entertainment from the DJs and MCs. On Saturday, the Road Show moves to Joubert Park for fans to enjoy another passion session from 11am to 5pm, in anticipation of the following day’s big match.
To provide easy assistance to people registering for M-PESA and RICA, Vodacom have deployed a number of authorised agents, who will be present at the Road Shows as well as inside the stadium on the match day.
In addition, prizes will be awarded to the fans that best exemplify the spirit of Vodacom’s Push iPassion campaign through their expression of unwavering commitment to the Buccaneers.