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Can Baroka FC cause a shock in the TKO Final?

07 December 2018, by: Thabang Kgeledi


Baroka clashes with Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout final at the Nelson Mandela Stadium on Saturday evening. Supporters of the Soweto giants are said to have already drafted their ‘Congratulations to the Best Team in SA for Winning the Telkom Knockout’ tweets.

But, Baroka have already collected two big teams’ scalps on their way to final, could they make history and add another?

The only people who are able to bet on Baroka beating Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout final are ones who (a) get more money than they expected from their tax returns (b) have access to Marty McFly’s Grays Sports Almanac from Back to the Future Part II (Google it) or (c) are mentally imbalanced.

We’ve seen this movie before (Rocky 1,2,3,4 and all Jean Claude Van Damme movies), the underdog seems to have absolutely no chance to win until the last 20 minutes before the end credits, they pull off a miracle. These Baroka players have the opportunity to create history and win their clubs first trophy. Here is how Baroka can win the Telkom Knockout final:

Orlando Pirates have the better players and are an overall better team than Baroka. Duh! So it only makes sense for Baroka to defend and attempt to catch Pirates on the counter. Baroka have shown they are capable of ‘parking the bus’ and playing on the break. They beat Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits employing the same tactic. In their three draws against Golden Arrows, Amazulu, and recently Maritzburg United, the opposition has found it difficult to break down their well coached disciplined defense.

Orlando are a threat through the middle. Most of their goals come from through balls that slice weak defenses in two. Baroka should defend narrow and let them have the ball on the wings. They aren’t as big of a threat with crosses. Steve Komphela used this strategy to good effect when his Bloemfontein Celtic side handed Orlando Pirates their one of only two league losses this season.

Since Baroka’s last game on the 25th of November, Orlando Pirates have played three. Pirates have a big squad, that is rotated well, but some key players aren’t as well rested as they need them to be. Baroka should bide their time, attack only when necessary, and play the long game. Orlando Pirates will get fatigued then Wedson Nyirenda’s men can go for it in extra time.

Baroka have nothing to lose. The pressure is on Pirates; this should be a walkover. It won’t be if they take my expert advice.

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