Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
23 Dec 2021
2:19 pm

Pirates and AmaZulu to battle to end year on second place

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

The sides meet at Orlando STadium this evening.

Tapelo Xoki (Pic: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Tapelo Xoki was one of the AmaZulu FC rearguards who stood firm at the back to ensure no one gets past them in their 1-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns, and the defender says it will be another tough contest when they face Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium.

Xoki admits that beating Downs was huge for them, especially being the first team to beat the Pretoria outfit this season. But, coming up against the Buccaneers it’s a different contest, with the Sea Robbers aiming to finish on a high. And what makes this fixture more intriguing is the fact that they are tied on 27 points, with Usuthu having played 19 games, while Bucs have a game in hand with a 30 points finish going into the break the main target for the two clubs.

“It was a big win for us, it meant a lot. It took a lot of determination, hard work and team effort. But it’s over now, it’s a huge game on Thursday again. We need to recover, freshen up and make sure we are ready for the game, it’s a tough one. It’s direct competition for us in terms of log position because we are both on 27 points. They have a game in hand, so to win a game will give us a bit of a cushion,” said the Usuthu defender.

“We have to make sure we are at our best and clinical best because we know it’s a team that is not going to make it easy for us plus they are playing at home. Pirates are a huge team and they won their last game. They will want to close on a high, but, so do we. So, we have to make sure we try our best to get maximum points so we can enjoy the break nicely.”

The last time the Durban based side and the Soweto outfit met was earlier in December, with the game ending in a 1-1 draw with goals from Deon Hotto for Bucs, while Tshegofatso Moremi scored for Usuthu.