Baroka Football Club has good prospects of winning the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup. This is according to their head of marketing and communications, Richard Mashabane, in response to their superb 2-0 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarterfinals of the competition last Saturday.
The Ga-Maphahlele based outfit caused a major upset in football circles when they eliminated current Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions Sundowns to reach to the semi-final of the competition where they are to face defending champions, Bidvest Wits Football Club in the semi-finals scheduled for Peter Mokaba Stadium on 24 November.
This is Baroka’s first semi-final of any cup competition in the PSL and Mashabane reckons the time has arrived to write their names in the history books of South African football.
“It is the first time we reach the semi-final of the competition and we are looking forward to an exciting yet difficult match against Wits. I must confess that it is not going to be an easy match. Wits has quality players who are also key members in their respective national teams. We believe we can win the match and play in the final of the competition and win it as well,” Mashabane said. In the meantime head coach Wedson Nyirenda returned to the club on Sunday following companionate leave to bury his mother. Mashabane said Nyirenda was in charge of the team’s training session on Tuesday and Matsemela Thoka who was in charge of the team that beat Sundowns over the weekend will reassume his role as assistant coach.
Team captain Mduduzi Mdantsane, named Man of the Match for his heroics during the game, shares Mashabane’s optimism that they can go all the way to win their first ever title. “Wits is a tough team but we have shown that we ready and we can win any match. The Sundowns’ game was not easy and they pushed us until the very last minute but we managed to contain them.
Story and photos: Herbert Rachuene