Ruthless Bucs hungry for silverware

2010-10-25 00:00

AFTER notching their first cup trophy in 10 years with their MTN8 victory earlier this month, Orlando Pirates showed they are hungry to try to win more silverware this season with an at times ruthless 1-0 Telkom Knockout first round shut-out of Lamontville Golden Arrows at Chatsworth Stadium on Saturday.

Pirates were clinical and aggressive, punching holes in the first half, scoring in the opening minute of the second via Lucky Lekgwathi’s header from Daine Klate’s free-kick from the right, and shutting Arrows out in the second half.

In doing so, the Buccaneers also bounced back from a shock 1-0 league defeat at home to then second-last Mpumalanga Black Aces in midweek.

Returning to the form that made Pirates the danger team in the country with their MTN8 final penalties victory against Moroka Swallows, followed by a 2-1 league win over title favourites Mamelodi Sundowns, Bucs are showing the sort of aggression that just might win them more silverware.

“We like to play a ball game, but when we are defensive we like to be aggressive, but it must be always aggressive on the ball, and not the man,” Pirates coach Ruud Krol said after Saturday’s victory. “Of course there are times when challenges come in late.

“It was a good performance today where the players worked hard and showed they are hungry.”

Krol made some changes from the team that started against Aces.

Lucky Lekgwathi’s replacement of suspended left-back Ruben Cloete was enforced. New Malawian signing Chiukepo Msowoya came in for Nigerian Ezenwa Otorogu up-front.

In defensive midfield Andile Jali and Daine Klate returned from injury to replace Isaac Chansa and Tlou Segolela.

“The changes that I made from Aces were necessary because we had Jali injured and Klate was also out [against Aces],” Krol said. “It was good to have those players back and be at full strength today.

“Of course we were unhappy that we lost against Aces, but today our players showed a big heart and we were there today.”

While some of his changes were enforced, Krol’s decision to stick with 23-year-old Clifford Ngobeni next to Jali in central midfield ahead of the more experienced Isaac Chansa paid dividends.

Ngobeni and Jali bossed the midfield, while winger Dikgang Mabalane was a constant threat on attack.

“I said already last week after the game against Sundowns that Ngobeni played a very good match. It’s not easy to start that kind of match against a top team playing through 90 minutes,” Krol said.

“He is one of the better players who is on song in my team, and that was the reason I went for Jali and Clifford together because I think they have a good combination together and a good feeling for each other.

“And that of course is important for two midfield players who are defending and attacking at the heart of the team.”

Arrows coach Zoran Filipovic said conceding a goal so early in the second half was a factor in his team’s defeat.

“Of course. With the quality of the opponents it’s very hard to play against them, and then to concede so early in the second half, you have to change your tactics and you can’t just put players into attack. It made it really hard for us,” the Serbian coach said.

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