New Bucs coach fails to end goal drought

2011-10-22 20:04

Orlando Pirates’ scoring problem is nothing new – they were in the same situation for three seasons under axed coach Rudi Krol.

Bucs have so far scored six goals in eight Absa Premiership matches, the same as in the 2010/11 and 2008/09 seasons – but three fewer goals compared to 2009/10.

This despite having new coach Julio Leal and a few new attacking players at the start of the season.

Though Pirates have not scored in their last three league matches, new and old strikers have been contributing their bit – unlike in the past season when defenders and midfielders dominated the scoring charts.

Strikers Benni McCarthy and Ndumiso Mabena are so far the club’s joint top scorers with two goals each, while Bongani Ndulula found the net once going into last night’s encounter against Black Leopards.

Leal has started with the ­Mabena-Ndulula partnership three times in all competitions so far, but the pair have yielded a single goal between them.

It was only when they were introduced from the bench against Sundowns in the MTN8 Cup semifinals that Ndulula hit the target in the dramatic 3-2 comeback at Orlando Stadium on August 21.

While other outfield players have not been sharing the scoring responsibility as has usually been the case, defender Happy Jele was one of the contributors to the team’s total tally of six league goals so far in their campaign.

Under Krol, defenders Lucky Lekgwathi and Lucas Thwala were regular scorers when the strikers were firing blanks.

Leal has 10 strikers at his ­disposal – including the imminent arrival of new signing Talatou Boubacar from Niger – but the goal drought has been a cause for concern for the defending ­champions.

Said Leal: “In modern football everyone is capable of scoring. We can’t rely on one forward.”

Ironically, in the two games that the Brazilian-born coach ­deployed three attackers – while playing against Sundowns and Free State Stars – the team failed to score.

He had unleashed McCarthy, Mabena and Rudolf Bester, but Pirates drew 0-0 with Sundowns and lost 1-0 to Stars.

Isaac Chansa, who is mostly used as a second striker, made his first start of the season in the goalless draw against AmaZulu last weekend.

The Zambian international ­assumed the responsibility alongside Thulasizwe Mbuyane.

Chansa said: “We have a ­problem (upfront) and we’re working on it.”

“I’m looking forward to playing alongside an experienced player like Benni.

“He’s really helping the team and it’s a pity we’re not utilising the opportunities he creates.

“It takes time but I believe we have the best strikers and it’s just a matter of time before we start scoring again.”

But watching Orlando ­Pirates at their training ­session this week, the ­regular side were dismal in front of goal despite there ­being no ­opposition on sight in their full ground drill.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.