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Pirates, Downs clash promises to be a thriller

By NAKAMPE LEKWADU

TEKO Modise is expected to come against his former club when Mamelodi Sundowns take on Orlando Pirates in the Absa Premiership clash tomorrow night. Kick-Off at the Orlando Stadium is at 8pm.

Modise who left Pirates under a dark cloud has since played two league matches in the colours of the Brazilians, after making his debut at Mbomebela stadium, Nelspruit, as Downs beat Moroka Swallows 2-0 on February 2. The stylish “General” replaced the club’s top striker Nyasha Mushekwi in the 70th minute. He was a second half substitue again last week against Santos, this time replacing Franklyn Cale. The match,  at Atteridgeville’s Lucas Moripe stadium, was also the home side’s first under the guidance of caretaker coach, Ian Gorowa. The Brazilian won 3-1.

It remains to be seen if Gorowa and his two assistants, Harris Choeu and Mark Anderson, will continue from where they left off last weekend. In the absence of wayward Katlego “Killer” Mphela who is still missing, Mushekwi has been a revelation for the Chloorkop-based, after taking his season tally to eight – just two behind top scorer and Zimbabwe countryman, Knowledge Musona.

 Pirates’ coach, Ruud Krol, has engineered a remarkable upward surge in the Buccaneers’ fortunes, taking to the top of the log on the back of a five-match winning streak, earning him the latest PSL Coach-of-the-Month award.  A legendary defender in his day, Krol has forged a solid unit, based on a miserly defence and swift, incisive passing from midfield to attack, which has proved fatal to opposition and has instilled a sense belief in the fans that their long wait for a league championship could soon be over.

The back four have been the bedrock of the team, keeping seven clean sheets in the past 11 games, while the midfield form of Isaac Chansa, Andile Jali and Mark Mayambela has provided a combination of steel and creativity, as well as some important goals. Up front, Katlego Mashego has weighed in with a few crucial strikes and flying winger Tlou Segolela has struck fear in the hearts of full backs across the country, while Malawian forward Chiukepo Msowoya has shown the potential to become a major star in the PSL. The Sea Robbers go into the fray brimming with confidence and a firm conviction that victory will keep them on course for the title, while simultaneously severely denting Sundowns’ hopes of glory.

The rest of this weekend’s Absa Premiership matches are:

Tonight:  Santos v Ajax Cape Town  (Athlone, 8pm)         

Tomorrow:  Golden Arrows v Bloem Celtic (Chatsworth, 3.30pm), Moroka Swallows v Maritzburg United (Dobsonville, 8.15pm)                

Sunday, February 13:

Platinum Stars v Kaizer Chiefs (Royal Bafokeng ) and Vasco da Gama v Black Aces (Athlone). Kick-Off for the Sunday matches are at 3.30pm.

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