5 December 2018

Zimbabweans Clash in Telkom Knockout Final

There will be a Zimbabwean flavour in the big Telkom Knockout Cup final in South Africa on Saturday as Soweto giants Orlando Pirates face Baroka at the Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth.

Warriors midfielder Marshall Munetsi and winger Kuda Mahachi are on Pirates books and will be looking to square off against compatriots -- goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze and speed merchant Talent Chawapiwa in the final.

It will be the quartet's first major cup final since they moved to the South African Premier League.

The Bakgaga, as Baroka are known in Polokwane, will also be featuring in their maiden cup final since gaining promotion into the elite ABSA Premiership.

For seasoned campaigners and former African champions Pirates, they will go into battle looking for their second Telkom Knockout title.

For all their long years in the top-flight, the Buccaneers have not been very lucky in the tournament as they have featured in nine finals, but have only recorded victory once in 2011 when they accounted for Bidvest Wits.

Ironically, Wits are the team Chawapiwa's Baroka also beat to book a place in the final.

Baroka may be the designated the home team, but the stadium will most likely be packed by Pirates' fans as they seek to end a trophy drought that has stretched since their Nedbank Cup success in May 2014.

Chawapiwa told Kickoff in South Africa that they are hopeful that their team will clinch a first major piece of silverware, having eliminated defending champions Wits 1-0 in the semi-final.

Baroka also accounted for Tswane giants Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals via a 2-0 win at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

"We've made history for ourselves man," said Chawapiwa.

"It's such a great feeling, it's something that you can't explain by words.

"It's a great feeling to us players, the technical team also, and the supporters," he said.

Munetsi, who has been shifted into a defensive role at his club, is looking forward to a tough match, having represented the Soweto giants 13 times in all competitions, all of them coming in 2018.

The Warriors midfielder said he wants to help Pirates become number one in Africa.

Pirates are featuring the CAF Champions.

"I want to win trophies with the club and to help the team to be number one in South Africa and Africa.

"I also dream of moving to Europe in the future because it has always been my dream to play there one day. And, of course, to help my country qualify for big tournaments," Munetsi said.

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