Speaking in a press conference held by Nedbank and the PSL yesterday, Polokwane City head coach, Julio Leal reiterated the importance of this encounter “we know the importance of this game because it is a derby. We want to entertain our supporters and in the process fill up the stadium.”
Coach Leal also reassured the fans that this game is his ultimate priority “i remember how important it was for Swallows when we won the cup and let me tell you, the level of importance has not changed.”
“This is the most important game simply because it’s our next game on the calendar. All our energies and focus are channelled in that direction”
#RiseAndShine reached the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup thanks to an impressive 2-1 away win over Platinum Stars in the previous round. This followed a 2-0 home win over African All Stars in the last 32. Their most recent outing was a match on April 16 in which they claimed a 1-0 home win over Chippa United.
“Our weekend win was just a lesson. Even though we won, we still don’t know what the opposition is planning. It is quite crucial that we do our homework, we will work extra harder.” -Said Coach Julio Leal.
Meanwhile Baroka are the last remaining National First Division side in the competition and earned their spot in the last eight thanks to successive away wins over top flight teams Chippa United (3-2) and Golden Arrows (2-0). Their most recent outing was a 3-1 loss away to Vasco Da Gama in the NFD, a result which saw their lead at the top of the log fall to just one point.
Polokwane City are enjoying their best showing in the Nedbank Cup by reaching the quarterfinals – their previous best performance was reaching the last 16 of the competition in 2013, where they were beaten by eventual champions Kaizer Chiefs. Last season they exited the competition in the last 32 after losing 4-1 to SuperSport United.
Baroka FC were the sensation of the 2011 Nedbank Cup when – as a third-tier club – they ousted the likes of Moroka Swallows and Kaizer Chiefs to reach the semifinals, where they were beaten on penalties by Black Leopards. Their showing in this year’s competition represents their first return to the main draw of the Nedbank Cup.
This will be the first competitive match between Polokwane City and Baroka FC.