Defending MTN 8 champions Orlando Pirates will begin their title defense when they face Sekhukhune United on Saturday at Orlando stadium.

Both sides met in three encounters last season including the Nedbank Cup final where the Buccaneers won the match 2-1 and completed their double after a few years of drought season.

ALSO READ: Ntseki: Everything at Kaizer Chiefs is pressure

The Buccaneers’ head coach Jose Riveiro believes it’s going to be difficult for his team when they play against Babina Noko due to the tactics and how Sekhukhune applies themselves on the field of play.

“It’s a well-organised team, patient in their approach and they have different ways of playing during the game. It’s very uncomfortable to play against them. We know it and it’s not going to be an exception on Saturday, but we’re prepared,” Riveiro said.

However, the Spaniard is hoping the Sea Robbers fans will give their support on Saturday by coming to the stadium in order to have the advantage to go through to the next round of the tournament.

“When we say playing at home, it’s an advantage. It’s because you can get the support and warmth from your fans,” he said.

“I’m sure they understand how important [their support] is going to be in a game like this. It’s a knockout game and hopefully, they’ll come in numbers to Orlando and support us all the way because it can really be an extra advantage for us.”

ORLANDO PIRATES COACH EXPECTS DIFFICULT ENCOUNTER WHEN THEY FACE SEKHUKHUNE

Riveiro insists the expectations are still the same at his club even though they won the MTN 8 last season. He believes every time his team go to the field, they are carrying the history of the club hence every game they play they want to win it.

“No, you think if we were not champions it was going to be a friendly game for us? It’s the same,” he stated.

“Every time we go to the field, we’re carrying the history of the club and the expectations of our fans. It’s a must to go to every game with the intention to win. Maybe that’s what you call pressure in this case, but it’s positive pressure.

“We’re representing a big club, we know it. It’s not in our mind to not be there fighting until the last second for a victory. It doesn’t matter whether there’s pressure or no pressure. We want to go through and we know what we need.”

Pirates have returned to winning ways after an impressive performance on Tuesday when they beat Royal AM 4-2 at Orlando Stadium.

By Katleho Hlalele

Sekhukhune United head coach Brandon Truter has insisted that it takes more than an easy-on-the-eye victory over Cape Town Spurs to leave him fully satisfied.

The tactician saw his side beat the Cape Town-based club 2-0 at the Athlone Stadium, with Edwin Gyimah and Chibuike Ohizu, respectively, scoring late two goals to earn their side a hard-fought win.

The three points placed Babina Noko firmly among the DStv Premiership pace-setters after two games of the new season. But Truter is not easily convinced.

ALSO READ: Sekhukhune United announces new sponsor, new kit

Limpopo’s side rallied to beat Shaun Bartlett’s team, and that was the only positive pick-up by Truter from the match.

The former Moroka Swallows coach said he was not pleased with his troops’ display against the newly top-flight promoted side.

BRANDON TRUTER TAKES A WIN, BUT NOT SATISFIED

“I’m happy with the results, but not so much about the performance. I am sure they (players) would also not be happy about their performance,” Truter said.
“But, we managed to get the results, and we are happy about that, especially away from home. Because coming to Cape Town is never easy.

“They put us under so much pressure in the opening 20 minutes. But when we made a string of few passes, we looked composed. But coming to the final third, there is still a lot of work to do.

“With the lack of the amount of time between games, we have to look at that in an analytic perspective. So we are happy with the results, happy to get our first win, especially away from home.”

Truter’s side lost their league’s opener after a 2-1 defeat to the defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns last week Friday at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Sekhukhune will lock horns with Orlando Pirates in the quarter-finals of the MTN8 Cup at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday, 12 August at 18h00.

By Clifton Mabasa

Sekhukhune United have announced a new partnership with Italian technical kit provider Macron. The three-year partnership comes days before the start of the 2023/24 PSL season.

The club also unveiled their new kit which will debut against Mamelodi Sundowns on Friday, 4 August. Babina Noko will take on the defending DStv Premiership champions at New Peter Mokaba Stadium at 19:30.

ALSO READ: Limpopo teams top get a million each from the government

“The home and away kit gives a strong nod to a Club which is always respectful of its tradition. Reimagining the porcupine at the back and front of the jersey,” the club said in a statement.

“‘Noko’, the porcupine, represents the cultural identity that resonates with the roots of this Club.”

“We are delighted to formally announce our new Technical Kit partner and Supplier Macron,” said the Chairman of the club Simon Malatji.

Sekhukhune United announces new sponsor, new kit
Sekhukhune United new kit

NEW KIT PARTNERSHIP FOR SEKHUKHUNE UNITED

Macron is also a sponsor for international brands such as Crystal Palace, Armenia Bielefeld and Real Sociedad amongst others.

“Being one of the official sponsors of UEFA and many top clubs in the EPL, La Liga, Serie A league and many more, Macron has been eager to find a club in SA that has the same drive and values as us, and we have found it in Sekhukhune FC! We are very excited about this partnership. The team has shown over the last few seasons that they mean business. We are excited to see the fan’s reaction to the new jersey and we want the fans to get behind the team! We wish Sekhukhune United FC all the best for the season,” said Macron Sports Hub CEO, Rassie Pieterse.

The On-sale date will also be confirmed in due course.

The two Limpopo DStv Premiership teams Sekhukhune United and Polokwane City will each receive R 1 million from the Province. The money is part of the Limpopo Tourism Agency initiative that funds premiership teams as a way to promote sports tourism.

The initiative does not cover Motsepe Foundation Championship or SAFA Hollywoodbets Super League teams. The Province has three teams in the Women’s Super League Ma Indies, Copperbelt and First Touch Ladies.

ALSO READ: 2023/24 DStv Premiership fixtures leaked

Limpopo will have four teams in the DStv Premiership hosting their matches at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Kaizer Chiefs and SuperSport United will host some of the matches at the FIFA World Cup Stadium alongside local clubs Polokwane City and Sekhukhune United.

Limpopo DStv Premiership teams top get a million each from the government
Polokwane City owner Johnny Mogaladi

MORE SUPPORT FOR LIMPOPO TOP TIER TEAMS

Meanwhile, MEC for LEDET Rodgers Monama held a congratulatory event for Polokwane City at Meropa Casino in Polokwane on Tuesday. Rise and Shine marked a return to the DStv Premiership following their automatic promotion at the end of last season.

“As a department, we are responsible for Sports tourism in the province. So we strongly felt that after the promotion of Polokwane City into the DStv Premiership, we also felt that we have to play our part to ensure that we support them. They are bringing in some economic spinoffs in the province.

“More especially in the industry of hospitality whereby the hawkers and hotels get fully booked when these games are playing in the province. In a way, they are our ambassadors in terms of profiling and marketing our province,” he said.

“So we felt that if it is within that context that in terms of our development we need to give them the necessary support so that they become better ambassadors for our province.”

 By Khotso Ramalatswa

DStv Premiership side Sekhukhune United have announced the signing of midfielder Siphesihle Mkhize from Mamelodi Sundowns. The 24-year-old joins Babina Noko on a three-year deal ahead of the new season.

Siphesihle Mkhize started his football career with Mamelodi Sundowns Academy in 2013. He was promoted to the senior team in 2019 but was often loaned out to gain experience.

ALSO READ: DONE DEAL: Thapelo Maseko joins Mamelodi Sundowns

After spending the 2019/20 season at Ajax Cape Town FC on loan, the defensive midfielder was then loaned to Chippa United where he spent the last two seasons, amassing 33 league starts during that period.

Sekhukhune United sign midfielder Siphesihle Mkhize from Mamelodi Sundowns
Siphesihle Mkhize in action against Mamelodi Sundowns

SIPHESIHLE MKHIZE JOINS SEKHUKHUNE UNITED

“Siphe” as he is affectionately known, has represented the National Under 20 in the 2019 CAF Africa Cup of Nations held in Niger and the U20 World Cup in Poland. He was also part of the Cosafa squad in 2020.

Mkhize says he is looking forward to the exciting new season ahead. He has also promised the Sekhukhune fans that he will do his best to ensure that the club stays where it belongs.”

By Khotso Ramalatswa

Sekhukhune United have completed the permanent transfer of Maritzburg United goalkeeper Renaldo Leaner on a three-year contract.

Babina Noko continued their winter transfer move by bringing in the former South Africa national team U-20 goalie. They have already signed midfielder Jamie Webber from SuperSport United.

The former Cape Town Spurs stopper’s move to Babina Noko marks the end of his two and half-year spell with the KwaZulu-Natal outfit, in which he played 17 games.

SEKHUKHUNE UNITED ANNOUNCES NEW GOALKEEPER

“With preparations for the new season in full swing, Sekhukhune United are delighted to announce the latest addition to strengthen their team with the signing of goalkeeper Renaldo Leaner from Maritzburg United on a three-year deal,” the club’s statement reads.

Sekhukhune United rope in Renaldo Leaner
Renaldo Leaner

RENALDO LEANER REACTS TO JOINING SEKHUKHUNE

After putting pen to paper for a deal that will see him at Babina Noko for the next three years, Leaner, 25, has made his feelings clear about joining the 2022/2023 Nedbank Cup finalists.

“I am looking forward to the exciting DStv Premiership League season with Babina Noko,” said Leaner.

“I am going to work extremely hard to contribute to the success of the team. While maintaining a good image of the Club.”

By Clifton Mabasa

DStv Premiership side Sekhukhune United have announced former SuperSport United midfielder Jamie Webber ahead of the new season. The 25-year-old joins Babina Noko on a two-year deal.

Webber spent the past five and half seasons at Matsatsantsa having joined from Stellenbosch. He had initially spent two and half seasons at the Western Caeo side.

ALSO READ: Sekhukhune United and Brandon Truter on the trot

”Strengthening the current squad has been the main priority for Sekhukhune United Football Club in anticipation of an exhausting 2023/24 football season. As well as participating in the CAF Confederation Cup,” the club said in a statement.

“Sekhukhune United Football Club is delighted to announce the latest addition to their squad ahead of the new season with the signing of the midfielder Jamie Craig Webber from SuperSport United FC on a two-year deal.”

Sekhukhune United sign Jamie Webber
Jamie Webber has joined Sekhukhune United

JAIME WEBBER CAREER SO FAR

Webber made 119 appearances for SuperSport United and featured 19 times in the 2022/23 DSTV Premier League campaign. He was part of the South African
National Squad in 2017 for the COSAFA Cup. He has also represented the country at under-23 level respectively.

“I am excited to be a member of the ambitious Babina Noko because of the
good winning culture demonstrated in the previous season. I am also prepared to work hard for consideration in the starting eleven, bringing new life to the team by assisting the Club to continue with the fine form and also looking forward to the new challenge and new environment.”

By Khotso Ramalatswa

Retired PSL referee Victor Hlungwani has given his verdict on the controversial Orlando Pirates’ Nedbank Cup final penalty kick. Sekhukhune forward Victor Letsoalo was judged to have handled the handball inside the 18-area leading to a Pirates equaliser.

And as a result, with Sekhukhune leading by a goal to nil following Sibusiso Vilakazi’s opener in the 12th minute. The match-day referee, Thando Ndzandzeka pointed to the penalty spot—claiming that Letsoalo had seemingly touched the ball.

Buccaneers star Thembinkosi Lorch had deliberately kicked the ball towards a feeble Letsoalo having in mind to hit his hands after he had collided with Terrence Dzvukamanja in the box.

And former Premiership official Hlungwani who officiated in the division between 1992 and 2022, put it clear that the penalty was rightly given.

CONTROVERSIAL PENALTY IN THE NEDBANK CUP FINAL

Speaking to LimSportsZone immediately after the match, Hlungwani insisted that Ndzandzeka was extremely right to award the Buccaneers a penalty as per the National Soccer League Handbook rules.

Retired referee gives his verdict on controversial Orlando Pirates Nedbank Cup final penalty
Orlando Pirates win Nedbank Cup

“If a player deliberately touches the ball with their arm or hands, the law says it’s an offence. So now you saw the hands moving towards the ball, that’s number one. Number two, the ball made contact with the fingertips. So, a handball offence has been committed, that is law, It’s not me, it’s the law,” Hlungwani said.

ORLANDO PIRATES GOAL LEGITIMATE

“A handball offence has been committed, and the correct penalty decision was taken, it was a good decision. Whether the player is lying down or he is up, what we check is did the hands move towards the ball. So if the hands do not move towards the ball, no offence. But if they move towards the ball, it’s deliberately a hands ball.

“We don’t work with assumptions. The assisted referee saw the fingertips, he raised the flag to tell the referee and when we looked at the slow motion. We saw the fingertips and the conclusion was a good decision by the referee.”

Sekhukhune United head coach Brandon Truter is expecting to face a SuperSport United side more aggressive than ever as they welcome them in Polokwane on Saturday.

Truter believes that Matsatsantsa will be fired up after a stunning and shattering run of form in the 2022/2023 DStv Premiership season under coach Gavin Hunt.

Hunt witnessed his troops outclass Kaizer Chiefs at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on the past weekend. Trute on the other hand guided his side to a 1-1 draw against Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

Sekhukhune are seventh on the table, tied on 37 points with Stellenbosch, Swallows and Golden Arrows who are all fighting for the top eight.

TS Galaxy are also bidding for the spot as they are on 35 points. Matsatsantsa are level in 51 points with second-placed Orlando Pirates.

Brandon Truter anticipates an aggressive SuperSport United for Sekhukhune United
Sekhukhune United players celebrate

WHY BRANDON TRUTER EXPECTS AGGRESSIVE SUPERSPORT UNITED

Coming amid a run of six unbeaten consecutive games, Hunt’s men are expeditiously moving to qualify for the CAF Champions League.

Meanwhile, Sekhukhune will be going out all-guns-blazing—looking to book their spot in next year’s MTN8 competition. Truter says he knows how vital the game will be on the set day.

“A very, very important game for us this weekend, a very difficult game as well considering the quality of the opposition, it’s a team that wants to get to Champions League football, that makes it a cup final for them,” Truter told the club’s media department.

BIG TEST FOR SEKHUKHUNE UNITED

“It will be a test for us, but we will have to focus as we are also fighting for the top eight. So, it will be an interesting and difficult game in terms of qualities, formations, and playing styles.

“But the guys are ready. And yes, we have one or two injury concerns that might not be ready for this week. But we will put up a very capable team to secure us three points at home, that will be our aim this weekend.”

The match is scheduled to take place at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday at 15h00 as the 2022/2023 DStv Premiership campaign comes to an end.

By Clifton Mabasa

The dates, venues, and times of this season’s Nedbank Cup semifinals have been confirmed, following the weekend’s action in the quarter-finals. It will be one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Sekhukhune United or Stellenbosch FC taking home the prize.

Also read: Nedbank Cup semifinal draw to take place on Sunday 

In a very much anticipated clash, 13 times winners Amakhosi will host the Buccaneers in the Soweto Derby in the first semi-final on Saturday, 06 May 2023.

That game is set for 15h00 and, as is customary, it will be played at FNB Stadium. The second semi-final will be between Stellenbosch and Sekhukhune United and will take place at the Danie Craven Stadium on Sunday, 07 May.

Nedbank Cup semifinal dates and venues confirmed
Nedbank Cup semifinal dates and venues confirmed

DATES AND VENUES FULL DETAILS:

Sat, 6 May

Kaizer Chiefs vs Orlando Pirates

FNB Stadium

15h00

Sun, 7 May

Stellenbosch FC vs Sekhukhune United

Danie Craven Stadium

18h00