Rusike ready for Pirates clash

Cape Town City look set to welcome January signing Matthew Rusike back in the side against Orlando Pirates as he has recovered from injury. The Zimbabwe international forward, who scored on debut for the Citizens in a Nedbank Cup last 32 encounter against Bidvest Wits, injured his hamstring last month.

Matthew Rusike

According to the club, the former Kaizer Chiefs and Jomo Cosmos forward has returned to full training and is ready to make a return to the pitch ahead of their Nedbank Cup last 16 clash against the Buccaneers tomorrow.

Rusike’s ability to shield the ball and win aerial battles is just what City need to find a way past Pirates’ defenders.

This will certainly please coach Benni McCarthy, who has been struggling to find someone who can bang in the goals regularly. The likes of Judas Moseamedi and Nana-Akosah Bempah have not always taken the opportunities that have been given to them by their coach.

City, MTN8 finalists earlier this season, face a Pirates side that is rejuvenated under Serbian coach Micho Sredojevic. The Buccaneers would love to finish the campaign on a high and win a first trophy since 2014 and a victory over the Citizens would edge them closer to glory.

McCarthy’s boys, however, will not make it easy for them, as they are also eyeing the prize to end the campaign on a high.

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic urged his players to forget their win over their Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs ahead of their encounter with Cape Town City.

The Buccaneers overcame Amakhosi 3-1 in a titanic Premier Soccer League match at the FNB Stadium over a week ago.

Sredojevic’s charges will now take on the Citizens in the Nedbank Cup Last 16 encounter.

“The win over our rivals Kaizer Chiefs was a good injection of confidence in terms of results,” Sredojevic told the media yesterday.

“But we are never carried away. We have the highest degree of respect for our opponents. With humility we have accepted that we beat our rivals.

“But that doesn’t count for anything if we don’t refocus, concentrate and play even much better than we did against Chiefs in that match.’’

The last time Bucs played in the Mother City they lost 3-0 to Ajax Cape Town in a league game two months ago.

“We are a bit hungry for football because we haven’t played a match since the Soweto Derby almost two weeks ago,” Sredojevic said.

“We worked well since then after giving the players a short break. We focused on the things that we didn’t do well in the Soweto Derby, while being proud of the things that we did okay, which means bettering them in the future,” he indicated

“We are looking forward to the game against Cape Town City. They are coached by a very good coach with top individuals. We know that there is a possibility of thinking that Johannesburg teams struggle in Cape Town,” the Serbian tactician explained. — Kick-Off/