Bucs coach Zinnbauer poised for Sundowns test

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer.  Picture: Oliver Hardt/Getty Images
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer. Picture: Oliver Hardt/Getty Images

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has warned Mamelodi Sundowns that the Buccaneers have an equal chance to win tonight’s league encounter between the two powerhouses at Orlando Stadium tonight.

The game is regarded as the real test for the 49-year-old tactician since he took over the reins at Pirates last month.

Bucs are unbeaten in three league games under Zinnbauer but the game in Soweto will provide the real for the German against an opponent who are bidding to defend their title.

“It’s a fight – this game is very hard for us but we have a chance,” warned Zinnbauer, who disclosed that he was one of the keen spectators at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium when the Brazilians beat Algeria side USM Alger 2-1 in the CAF Champions League group game on Saturday.

“In football you always have a chance. And it’s not that we say ‘oh Sundowns are coming’… no, we are Pirates. It [won’t] be easy for Sundowns.”

Sixth-placed Pirates are eight points adrift of their opponents who were held to a goalless draw by other tile hopefuls Bidvest Wits in Pretoria a week ago.

“In this game, the favourite is Sundowns [but] we have nothing to lose. We’ll do everything to get the three points,” said Zinnbauer during Bucs’ open media day at the Rand Stadium on Monday.

The German tactician is hoping his charges to continue with the team’s fine run that produced two wins and a draw in Pirates’ last three outings.

In their last game, Bucs hammered Polokwane City 4-1 away last Tuesday courtesy of a hat-trick from the in-form Gabadinho Mhango, with Ben Motshwari providing the other goal at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Mhango is the league’s joint leading scorer with 10 goals alongside Bongi Ntuli of AmaZulu.

The most recent Pirates and Sundowns match-ups yielded goalless draws over two rounds last season.

The two titans will have a follow-up league meeting that the Brazilians will host in Pretoria in March.


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