Orlando Pirates striker Vincent Pule faces a race against time in his efforts to pass a late fitness test, ahead of what is probably the club’s most important match of the season thus far when they take on Kaizer Chiefs in the semifinal of the Telkom Knockout at the Moses Mabhida Stadium tomorrow.
The Buccaneers are on a quest to end a four-year trophy drought and if Pule does miss the match, it would be a big blow for Micho Sredojevic and his technical team with the former Bidvest Wits player in scintillating form at Bucs since the start of the season.
Pule was the hero last time the Buccaneers met Amakhosi, scoring the winning goal in their 2-1 victory in a league clash at FNB Stadium in October.
The 26-year- old is the Buccaneers’ top goal-scorer with five goals to his name and he also has three assists.
The striker picked up a knock during national duty for Bafana Bafana in a friendly against Paraguay in midweek and Sredojevic said he would wait until today to see if Pule will be fit for the match, as well as leftback Innocent Maela, who also played on Wednesday.
“We have seen both of our players playing a full match (for Bafana), and with that in mind, first … we had to see what the situation is and both of them need to pass late fitness tests in order to prove they are ready for a match of this magnitude.
“We have had a very hectic 2018 and it is crucial that every single player is not juat 100 percent, but 200 percent ready. So, we will how everything goes in tomorrow’s last training session,” said Micho during the TKO press conference held at the Premier Soccer League offices in Parktown, Johannesburg yesterday.
“We strongly hope that the scorer of the winning goal in our last match (in the Soweto derby) will be part of the team on Saturday.”