Telkom Knockout FINAL
Bucs have litany of Cup final heartbreak
Orlando Pirates may have sealed a ninth visit to the final of the Telkom Knockout competition but have known mostly heartbreak in this tournament.
The Buccaneers disposed of Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend to seal their place in the December 8 decider in Port Elizabeth against surprise finalists Baroka‚ who have reached their first cup final.
Pirates will be overwhelming favourites given their form and the quality of their squad but would do well not to look back for inspiration, having largely had a torrid time in finals in a competition first played in 1982.
They first appeared in the final in 1987 but lost to Durban Bush Bucks.
Pirates returned to the final in 1990‚ the last that was played over two legs‚ and this time went down 2-1 on aggregate to Mamelodi Sundowns.
Pirates were favourites going into the 1995 final against Wits University with a team that were league champions and on the cusp of claiming the CAF Champions Cup title. But a goal just before half time from Wits’ Benson Otiti sealed the triumph for The Clever Boys and extended Pirates’ competition hoodoo.
In 2000 they came up against a young Ajax Cape Town and this time they appeared odds-on for victory.
But after being held to a 1-1 draw in the final‚ a replay was needed and Ajax overwhelmed their more illustrious opponents to run out 4-1 winners‚ with Carlo Scott grabbing a brace. It remains one of the biggest shocks in SA cup final history.
Pirates had the chance for revenge in 2008 when they met Ajax again in the final‚ but this time lost 2-1 as Mabhuti Khenyeza grabbed a brace for the Urban Warriors to make it no wins from five appearances in the decider for Pirates.
That was extended to six in the worst way possible when they were thumped 3-0 by Chiefs in the final as defensive errors allowed Sthembiso Ngcobo to bag a brace for AmaKhosi. Siphiwe Tshabalala grabbed the other goal.
Finally there was joy a year later when they met Wits in the 2011 final and ran out comfortable winners in the end. Big stage
An early goal from Thulasizwe Mbuyane‚ often the man for the big stage‚ settled their nerves‚ but Sifiso Myeni equalised for Wits just past the hour mark.
The game was in the balance until Daine Klate and Isaac Chansa sealed the Buccaneers’ first success at the s eventh attempt.
They have suffered more disappointment since then though‚ going down 2-1 to Platinum Stars in 2013, when they were again heavy favourites.
Lucky Lekgwathi put them in front in the first half‚ but Botswana international Mogakolodi Ngele came off the bench to score twice for the now defunct Stars to seal a famous win for them.