Bucs, Usuthu to square off in rare clash

Premiership

The prime fixture of next month’s Nedbank Cup last 32 fixtures between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu will carry huge significance in the domestic cup competition landscape.

Pirates have been drawn to play Usuthu in what ranks as the standout tie of the draw held on Wednesday.

Though the two clubs played each other in the last league meeting before Christmas next month’s Nedbank tie will only be the second ever cup meeting between the two clubs in the PSL era which stretches back to August 1996.

The Bucs and Usuthu have through the years always found a way to avoid each other in all knockout competitions.

The only ever meeting between the two clubs was in November 2018 when Pirates won 3-1 after extra time in a Telkom Knockout quarterfinal contest at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Thembinkosi Lorch struck a brace in that match with Xoli Mlambo adding the other while Bonginkosi Ntuli scored for Usuthu.

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Two of the players that started for Pirates in that match Mlambo and Augustine Mulenga have since moved to Amazulu.

Thabo Qalinge – who came on from the bench in that match – has also moved on to Usuthu.

Changes have also happened on the benches of the two clubs and where Pirates had Milutin Sredojevic in charge they now have Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids with Benni McCarthy calling the shots in place of Cavin Johnson.

While AmaZulu have never won the Nedbank, Pirates last won it in 2014 under Vladimir Vermezovic and were runners-up four years ago.

Pirates have been forever present in the PSL while Usuthu have missed five seasons when they played in the first division after being relegated from the PSL.

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