Polokwane City will be making a semifinal debut appearance in the Telkom Knockout competition against in-form Bloemfontein Celtic at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday afternoon.
After beating Orlando Pirates 3-2 in the quarterfinals of the cup to take their unbeaten run in cup and league action to six games, the men from Limpopo are on a high in terms of confidence, but will need no reminding that victories in the Telkom Knockout competition have been hard to find over the years.
Rendani Ndou’s brace that undid Pirates in extra time will haunt the Celtic ahead of the last-four showdown, while players like Jabu Maluleke and Rodney Ramagalela also possess the skill and finishing touches to send the men from Mangaung outside of the Free State capital, packing.
Polokwane will know better than to write off the chances of their opponents, who have won four of the last six games (with one draw and a single defeat).
Since the arrival of Serbian coach Veselin Jelusic, Phunya Sele Sele, as Celtic are known, have become a force to be reckoned with.
With Celtic’s cup fate having been decided via penalty shoot-out on no fewer than seven occasions in the PSL era; it will come as no surprise if this weekend’s match goes the same route. Celtic got through 5-4 on penalties over SuperSport United earlier in this year’s cup competition.
Despite finding themselves in fourth position on the Absa Premiership table and in a cup semifinal, Celtic don’t have a free-scoring goal-getter on their books. Striker Ndumiso Mabena, with 2 goals, heads their leading scorers’ table along with Roggert Nyundu on the same number of goals.
This looks a meagre return compared to the six that Rodney Ramagalela has scored for Polokwane in league action, but cup football is on-the-day stuff.