Arrows out to stun Pirates in Ke Yona
5/19/2017 4:45:02 PM

Lamontville Golden Arrows will play host to Orlando Pirates in the 2017 Nedbank Cup semifinal encounter at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 3pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

Abafana Bes'thende are hoping to reach the final of the lucrative tournament for the first time in the club's history.

They booked their place in the semifinals after defeating Platinum Stars 1-0 at home in the quarterfinal encounter last month.

In their most recent competitive match, Arrows suffered a 1-0 defeat to Cape Town City in an Absa Premiership match in midweek.

Abafana Bes'thende will be without their key central midfielder Danny Phiri when they take on Pirates. The Zimbabwe international is suspended.

Clinton Larsen, the Arrows head coach, is banking on his young team to cause an upset against the Buccaneers at home.

"Sunday is a huge game for our club, a number of the kids in this team have never reached a semifinal, yet alone a final, so hopefully they will get a taste of a cup final," Larsen said.

"It will take a huge effort on Sunday against an ever-improving Pirates team. We will give our all and hope we can get the result.

"What I have realised with our young players is that they rise to the occasion in the big games. They thrive on those occasions and I think they are a confident young group."

Meanwhile, Pirates are looking to reach the Nedbank Cup final for the second year running. They were defeated by SuperSport United in last year's final.

The Buccaneers had to overcome Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 in extra-time at the Orlando Stadium last month to book their place in the semifinals

They are coming off a goalless stalemate with Ajax Cape Town in their most recent competitive match, which was an Absa Premiership game at home in midweek.

Pirates midfielder Mpho Makola is back from suspension and he has boosted the eight-time Nedbank Cup champions' team selection.

Kjell Jonevret, the Bucs coach, has urged his charges to be brave against Abafana Bes'thende, but he added that they need to be cautious.

"We have to focus on Sunday and try to do something good," Jonevret said.

"Its a big chance for us in the Cup. We just have to be braver when we have the ball but we need to stay as we were defensively.

“But right now I absolutely believe that these guys can beat Golden Arrows. And then‚ if you are in the final‚ anything can happen.”

When Arrows and Pirates met in the first-round league match last August, the latter recorded a 3-1 victory at the Orlando Stadium.

Tendai Ndoro netted a hat-trick for the Buccaneers, while Abafana Bes'thende's consolation goal was scored by Nduduzo Sibiya.