MaizeCup : Orlando Pirates to take on Platinum Stars in 2016 Maize Cup
Top class football will be coming to South Africa’s Bokone Bophirima Province once again with the second edition of the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup, to be played on the 13th of August, 2016.
A new format of the one-day competition will see two teams facing off for the Maize Cup, as opposed to last year’s edition which had four clubs battling it out in two semi-finals and a final in one day.
This year Soweto giants Orlando Pirates FC will play against defending champions and hosts Platinum Stars FC, which promises to be a cracking encounter.
The format from the former Maize Triangle to the Maize Cup was necessitated by the fact that Mpumalanga no longer have a team in the PSL.
The North West Province is delighted to have two top teams competing in the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup this year and looks forward to an outstanding day of entertainment for local and travelling fans.
The match will provide football-starved fans with top quality pre-season action and an opportunity to see some of the new recruits ahead of the 2016/2017 campaign. Both teams will be looking for good performances as they continue to prepare for the new season.
The province gives thanks to all their stakeholders, particularly grain producers in the Bokone Bophirima, Free State and Mpumalanga provinces, who have helped to make this tournament a reality.
“Through this Maize Cup, the Provincial Government seeks to t an opportunity to all soccer loving citizens from the Province and beyond, to enjoy a thrilling day of entertaining soccer and that contributes to efforts to rebrand, reposition and renew the Province” says the spokesperson of the North West Provincial Government, Mr. Brian Setswambung.
Orlando Pirates will be fresh from a pre-season camp in Namibia and will possibly have new signings Riyaad Norodien, Donald Mokondelela and Bernard Morrison on show on the day.
Pirates, who lost out to Kaizer Chiefs in last week’s Carling Black Label Cup, would not want to miss out on another pre-season trophy and they could just have revenge in the back of their minds when they face Dikwena in the Maize Cup. It was Platinum Stars who beat the Buccaneers in the 2013 MTN8 final and a few months later again in the Telkom Knockout final, which is something the Pirates fans do not want to be reminded about.
Pirates also failed to beat Stars last season in the league, drawing 1-1 at Orlando Stadium and then losing 2-1 to Cavin Johnson’s men at Royal Bafokeng Stadium. So it should be an interesting battle as Pirates look to get back at Dikwena and also boost their confidence before the season starts.
Pirates have dominated this fixture since 2004, with 15 victories in 27 meetings, but Dikwena have proven to be a problem for the Buccaneers in recent years. Stars have lost just twice in their last eight meetings, so Pirates should prepare themselves for another tight battle when they lock horns in the Maize Cup.
After finishing third last season and qualifying for next year’s CAF Confederation Cup, Stars will be hoping the Maize Cup gives them good preparation ahead of what’s sure to be their biggest season in a long time. With continental football coming up, Stars will need to be well prepared and on top of their game to handle the tight schedule that lies ahead for them.
They will be relying on top players such as Vuyo Mere, Ndumiso Mabena, returning striker Henrico Botes and the experience of coach Cavin Johnson to get a positive result in the Maize Cup and then build on from that in the new campaign.
Stars will feel perfectly at home at the Moruleng Stadium for the Bokone Bophirima Maize Cup, as they use the venue as an alternative home ground to the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace and are the current defending champions of The Maize Cup.
There’s more to look forward to. Since the Cup will take place in Womens’ month, the Province has decided to offer a special treat to the female supporters by offering them free entrance to the stadium.
Kick Off will be at 15h00
Tickets go on sale on Wednesday the 3rd of August and will be available through Computicket at R30 for adults and R10 for children under 12 years