Some behold this one as a David and Goliath clash, but the former AmaZulu attacking midfielder Litha Ngxabi, says “it’s a 50/50 situation”. Ngxabi believes that the Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu square off for the R8 million grand prize at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday, will be a tight affair.
The Buccaneers eliminated Royal AM and Mamelodi Sundowns to reach the final, while AmaZulu saw off Cape Town City and Kaizer Chiefs. The two teams have already met this season in a DStv Premiership match and played to a 1-1 draw.
Ngxabi, who plied his trade at Usuthu between 2006 and 2011 believes the KwaZulu-Natal outfit can upset the Happy People.
“AmaZulu stand a very good chance of winning against Pirates if they plan properly, and if they don’t go there to play on the second ball,” Ngxabi told This is Football.Africa.
“The moment they go there and play on the second ball, they will lose that game. Pirates use the spaces you leave behind and then they can counter and score.
“They make the game look like it was an easy game, but on the football side of things, you see that they can be beaten. They beat (Mamelodi) Sundowns, but they didn’t dominate that game at all. Sundowns didn’t score because they didn’t use their chances.
“AmaZulu need to look at Pirates deeper and also come up with their own plan, because they are not even the underdogs going to this game. I would say it’s a 50/50 situation. If AmaZulu apply themselves well, they can win that game.”
The last time Usuthu hoisted a trophy was when they won the Coca-Cola Cup in 1992, and are now looking to end that 30-year trophy drought. Meanwhile, Pirates last won the trophy when they lifted the very same MTN8 in 2020.
This will be AmaZulu’s first final since 2010, when they played in the Nedbank Cup final and were thrashed 3-0 by the now-defunct Bidvest Wits. Ngxabi, who was on the losing side that day, recalls the feeling of falling short.
“It was painful, very painful,” he added.
“I would say, amongst the hurting moments I went through, that one is one of the most painful moments because looking at that match, Bidvest Wits didn’t do anything special, it’s just that we didn’t come to the party.
“In that season, we had gotten into the top eight. Sixteen years after AmaZulu last did that. We went to the MTN8 semi-final and lost to Golden Arrows. It was a very good season for our squad, and if we had won the Nedbank, it would have ended a long trophy drought for AmaZulu.
“It was one of the proud moments for us as players and the team, to get into the top 8 after 16 years, lost in the MTN8 semi-final, reached the Telkom Knockout quarter-final and got into the Nedbank Cup final.
“It was a lot of history re-written, they were saying it was a sleeping giant, and we had awakened that giant for everyone to realise that AmaZulu are back.”
This will be the last match in domestic football before we head into the enforced FIFA World Cup break.