In Roger we trust – Buccaneers

2012-09-15 20:57

Four-match winless streak finally ends

Platinum Stars 0 Orlando Pirates (0) 1

Although this clash was decided by a rather fortuitous effort, the Orlando Pirates faithful were nonetheless afforded the right to sing “In Roger we trust” as the league’s defending champions ended their barren run in their last four matches.

Andile Jali’s conversion from the penalty spot not only ended more than 450 minutes of action without a goal for Pirates but gave new coach Roger de Sa an ideal start to his tenure that started only six days ago.

The former Bidvest Wits mentor did not overhaul the team that lost 3-0 to Moroka Swallows a week ago.

Instead, he handed starting berths to goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs, defender Rooi Mahamutsa, midfielder
Onyekachi Okonkwo and strikers Rudolf Bester and Takesure Chinyama, who were on the bench of the match that marked Augusto Palacios’ last assignment in charge.

Chinyama was deployed as the target man on his debut with Bester and Sifiso Myeni completing the golden triangle in the attack that was minus the regular strikeforce of Benni McCarthy and Collins Mbesuma.

Another innovation by De Sa was that of the combination of combative midfielder Okonkwo, Jali and Oupa Manyisa across the middle.

However, the Buccaneers’ mission for revival in Phokeng, Rustenburg, was made near impossible by mostly its former players who are now earning their wages at Stars.

Benson Mhlongo held together a defence that first of all dealt with Chinyama’s aerial threats and then the imposing figure of Thulasizwe Mbuyane later in the game.

This is despite coach Cavin Johnson’s defence having been weakened by the red card given to Thabiso Semenya for a deliberate handball just 18 minutes into the match.

The match did not start without glitches, with play delayed for 15 minutes prior to kickoff.

The clash of kits was an amateurish sight that rendered the prematch meetings useless as this is one aspect that, according to the Premier Soccer League manual, should be addressed three hours before kickoff.

But it was Stars defender Semenya whose red card earned him the comical act of the day.

He attempted to stop Okonkwo’s crisp lob into space for Chinyama – with his hand.

In the end, a penalty, from Ntsikelelo Nyauza’s handball, was enough for the treble champions.

» Meanwhile, a hailstorm ended any hopes of Kaizer Chiefs adding to the two goals they scored against Black Leopards last night at the FNB Stadium.

Goals by Bernard Parker and Kingston Nkhatha had already laid a platorm, but the weather ended the game in the 34th minute. It will be replayed on Wednesday, starting from scratch.

» Other results: SuperSport United 3, AmaZulu 0; Golden Arrows 1, Mamelodi Sundowns 0; Maritzburg United 1, Free State Stars 1, Moroka Swallows 2, University of Pretoria 3

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