Nyirenda reveals Baroka tactics that TKO’d Pirates

Wedson Nyirenda, head coach of Baroka FC. Picture: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images
Wedson Nyirenda, head coach of Baroka FC. Picture: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Baroka FC had failed to beat Orlando Pirates in five attempts prior to their meeting in the Telkom Knockout final, but Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele followed their master plan to eventually pass the test with flying colours at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

It was arguably the best final in the longest time in South African football history and the penalties had to decide the champions as Baroka triumphed 3-2 in the dramatic shootout.

Victorious Baroka head coach Wedson Nyirenda said his unfancied side made history because they needed the cup more than Pirates.

“We needed this more than Pirates because they have won so many trophies and we are still under the soil.”

Bucs thrive on Vincent Pule

“We knew their strength which was Pule. When he comes to the right wing we knew he was not going to cross but he was going to cut in and take a shot.

“We succeed in that better than the league game we played [against Pirates in September] because he got away with it by scoring the goal. [Thembinkosi Lorch scored the other goal in the 2-1 win that propelled Pirates to the top of the PSL standings].”

Lorch the menace

“We assigned the captain Jomo [Mduduzi Mdantsane] to look after Thembinkosi Lorch.

“Lorch was a menace in our midfield because you could not tell where was playing. He was all over and you saw that disorganised our midfield. He has the heart and the steam to do 120 minutes.”

Shutting down Shonga

“Justin Shonga is the one who creates spaces for Pirates. So we knew when he makes the runs towards the outer wings somebody is going to take back positions [but] we closed those channels.”

The down side

“The only negative part was lacking concentration towards the end of 90 minutes; we were thinking it was already done then they equalised.

Pirates came back twice in the game when Musa Nyatama’s 56th minute tap-in first cancelled out a volleyed goal by Jemondre Dickens in the 44th minute. Lorch had pulled one back in the second half of extra-time after Mdantsane converted from the penalty spot in the 99th minute.

“We were lacking a bit at the top. We could not hold the ball so much. So it gave Pirates a lot of opportunities to use the ball. They were so high in pressing. We had to go to lottery of penalties.”

The penalty sequence:

Baroka: Mduduzi Mdantsane (scored); Ananias Gebhardt (saved); Vusi Sibiya (scored); Thabiso Semenya (scored); Davies Nkausu (missed)

Pirates: Happy Jelee (scored); Justin Shonga (missed); Musa Nyatama (scored); Thabiso Kutumela (scored); Thembinkosi Lorch (missed)

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