THE BREAKDOWN: Ace & Yeye To Reignite Their Rivalry In Nedbank Cup Final
Teenage Hadebe's Move To Kaizer Chiefs Imminent?
Orlando Pirates’ Oupa ‘Ace’ Manyisa and SuperSport United’s Reneilwe ‘Yeye’ Letsholonyane will resume a long-standing rivalry that developed over the years when both midfielders played in Soweto. Today, we predict who will come out on top in the latest meeting between the two.
Letsholonyane spent eight years at Kaizer Chiefs between 2008 and 2016, while Manyisa broke into the Pirates’ first team in the same season as when his fellow midfielder joined Amakhosi from Jomo Cosmos.
In that time, they also shared a pitch together as teammates for Bafana Bafana and set their rivalries aside, but today their rivalry will reignite yet again and for what will be the third time this season (Manyisa played no part in Pirates’ 6-1 loss in November last year). However, the stakes are higher than ever.
Based on league games only, both players have faced each other on 14 different occasions and, while nine of those games ended in draws, Yeye takes the advantage with four wins and just one loss to Ace’s team.
Neither has enjoyed a good scoring record against one another, however, with Letsholonyane scoring none and assisting none (he has scored twice and assisted once, but Manyisa was not on the team sheet).
The Pirates midfielder has also never scored in a game against Letsholonyane but did manage an assist in a meeting between the two for Pirates against Chiefs on 8 December 2012. In this regard, it’s safe to say that the players are somewhat even in terms of head-to-head results.
However, based on current form, it is even harder to separate them. This season, Manyisa has made 35 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and assisting a further five, while Letsholonyane’s record is identical in every way.
With that said, in his last five games, Manyisa has won one, lost two and drawn two, while Yeye has lost two, won three.
Perhaps the answer to separating the two legends of the local game lies in their cup final results over the years, where we can determine their big match temperament.
Looking at Manyisa’s record, the 28-year-old has played in 11 cup finals over the course of his career, including the MTN8, Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup, winning five of them and losing the other six. Meanwhile, Letsholonyane has played in nine cup finals, winning five and losing four.
In fact, both players have met each other in finals on three occasions, including the 2010 Telkom Knockout final, where Kaizer Chiefs beat Orlando Pirates; the 2011 MTN8 final, where Oupa Manyisa scored the winning goal in extra time to hand Pirates the win on the day; and, finally, the 2014 MTN8 final, where Letsholonyane’s Chiefs beat Pirates in 2014.
Whatever can be said about their records in the past, however, will count for nothing on the day as Acer and Yeye get ready to battle it out for silverware. One thing is for certain, though - fans will be happy to see this long-standing rivalry continue.
Who do you think will win the battle on the pitch today?