Jele: It is not about ‘revenge’ for Orlando Pirates against Mamelodi Sundowns

The Buccaneers skipper will lead his side away at Loftus Versfeld as they push for a second piece of silverware this season

Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele says Thursday’s Nedbank Cup against Mamelodi Sundowns will not be easy for their opponents as he plays down their intentions of hitting back at the Brazilians who won the last meeting between the two sides.

Sundowns are bidding to defend the trophy they lifted last season while Pirates want a second Cup this season after claiming the MTN8 earlier this term.

With the two sides last meeting in the Premier Soccer League on January 2 when Sundowns prevailed as 1-0 victors at Loftus Versfeld, Jele says they will not be driven by revenge on Thursday, but the desire to reach the semi-finals. 

“It’s a game, we’re going to fight as Orlando Pirates, and we want to get the result to go to the next round, and it’s not going to be easy for them,” said Jele as per IOL.

“It’s not revenge; it’s just a game. The most important thing is that it is a competition. It’s either you’re in, or you’re out. So, for us, it’s not about revenge. We’re focusing on ourselves as a team, we want to go through to the next round, and to do that, we have to push harder.

“I would say it’s a motivation, to play two games and we can be in the final. It’s a motivation on its own. But first, we need to focus on the game that is coming, which is the quarter-final, that’s the most important thing. If we fight from there, then we go to the semi-final. I believe if we put more effort then we will go to the next round.”

It will be a clash of teams that are also chasing glory in Caf inter-club competitions with Sundowns having qualified for the Caf Champions League quarter-finals while Pirates reclaiming the lead in Group A of the Caf Confederation Cup.

This leaves Jele admitting that they are facing opponents who have a lot of quality in their squad.

“Both teams have good qualities, you know, and we’re playing against a good team in Africa,” Jele said.

“They have been doing well in the Champions League and in the league,” Jele told reporters yesterday. “We respect them, but on the day it’s a game, a game of football for us as a team, as Pirates, we are big also, we are going to go there because we want to win.

The winner between Sundowns and Pirates will meet Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila in the semi-finals on Sunday.

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