How Bucs won the league

2012-05-26 19:49

When Benni McCarthy netted during the third of the seven minutes added on to seal Orlando Pirates’ successful defence of the Absa Premiership title in a 4-2 win over Golden Arrows last weekend, it underscored the kind of performances – and championship resolve the Buccaneers have shown for most of the season.

At least ten of Bucs’ 58 points came in the last five minutes of their matches, with seven of those being during injury time.

These were the moments which ensured that the Parktown-based club “turned possible draws into victories and possible losses into draws” – as winger Daine Klate put it – and thus sealed another successful season with the league crown.

As Sergio “Kun” Arguero and Edin Dzeko proved when Manchester City took the English Premiership title, sometimes all it takes is the few minutes of the traditional referee-added time to draw a line between glory and misery.

The “Fergie Time”, as it is called in the English Premiership, helped Pirates prevail this season as they seemed to get more than their fair share of luck late in games.

As captain Lucky Lekgwathi put it, Pirates never stopped playing until the referee blew the whistle.

On four occasions it was in injury time that they scored vital goals that kept their title hopes alive.

This was the same pattern last season when Happy Jele twice saved the team from the jaws of defeat.
This season was no different and as early as October, Pirates lucky stars shone for them.

It was against Jomo Cosmos in Port Elizabeth when Tokelo Rantie pounced from nowhere to score the winning goal in injury time that Lady Luck really smiled on them.

Then in November defender Jele once again came to the team’s rescue when he netted the equaliser against Moroka Swallows in what was the last kick of the match in referee’s optional time.

It was also Pirates’ never-say-die attitude that saw them coming from behind to beat Bloemfontein Celtic and Golden Arrows and separated them from other league contenders.

But to their credit, Pirates went the entire season without a home loss.

No wonder they are league champions!

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