February 26, 2021

Orlando Pirates had the luck against SuperSport United – Zinnbauer on first bubble victory

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The Buccaneers posted their first victory since the PSL season resumed to end a six-match winless streak

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer says luck carried his side in the 2-1 Premier Soccer League victory over SuperSport United at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Soweto giants survived two second-half penalty kicks missed by Bradley Grobler and substitute Thamsanqa Gabuza to record their first victory after a poor run of two defeats and four draws.

Goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands was the hero of the afternoon to preserve a better result for Pirates after goals from Vincent Pule and substitute Zakhele Lepasa.

Following the win, the Buccaneers moved to fourth spot with just a point behind third-placed SuperSport.

“I’m glad now. It was a tough game for us. The opponent was not easy to play, they are a good team,” Zinnbauer told SuperSport TV.

“We won against two penalties. Congratulations to Wayne he was top to today. It was a fighting game for us. It was not a top game for us where we [did not] dominate 100 percent. But I told the players before the game that it’s not important [to dominate possession] now that we have always led the game. Yes in the future [we can dominate] but we come back to the success and it’s important we needed the three points.

“And we have the luck and we have the fight. We gave 100 percent, all the players on the field. This was the key today winning the game.”

Pule score in the 29th minute to end a difficult run for Pirates who had managed just a goal in their last six games.

“I said nothing to Pule [during the water break], I said to all players in the team. He was not 100 percent in the game, he was not in the pressure, he was not in the build-up,” said Zinnbauer.

“I said guys come back, make your performance [the best of] what you can and play easy and play quick. Minute by minute we came better and I am happy now we had the three points.

“Yes in the training sessions he [Zakhele Lepasa] gave us the options. He gave us the signal that he is ready but yes you need a little luck as a coach. You bring him in and first touch he scored and yes I am happy he scored he gave a good performance in a long time, he waited he comes in and he gave us success and I am happy about it.”

Pirates now prepare to play Maritzburg United in their next match on Wednesday before they conclude the campaign against Stellenbosch.

“I look [forward] to the last two games. It’s a short time I know. The next game is important for me and now it’s important we have a good recovery and we have to stay focused for the next game and see what happens,” Zinnbauer said.

On the losing end was Kaitano Tembo whose side remains in third position.

The Zimbabwean coach conceded that Pirates deservedly won.

“We had a good start in the first 10 or 15 minutes, we had good pressing,” said Tembo.

“We trapped them very well, we won possession in their own half and that allowed us to get quicker in effective areas. We had opportunities, Julies [Giuly Manziba] run and with a little bit decision-making in the first of the second minute we could have scored.

“Tebza [Teboho Mokoena] one-on-one with the goalkeeper we could have scored. And if you create opportunities like that and you miss them, you don’t deserve to win. This game is about taking opportunities. Second half we also gave away goals which I think we could have done better. Nevertheless we give credit to Pirates.

“They capitalised on their opportunities. They got two or three half chances and they took advantage of that and that’s what the game is all about. You don’t have to create 100 chances for you to score one goal. I don’t think we deserved to win the game.

“We needed to try and push forward and have more numbers going forward which we did. We got a penalty and we had more numbers. That’s why we could unsettle their defence but I think they also defended very well. They were compact, they were narrow and credit to them they played very well.”

SuperSport now face relegation-fighting Baroka in their next match, before wrapping up their season against Cape Town City.