The German tactician is now looking for a strong finish to the season after a second straight win for his side
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has credited his “good defending structure” and tactical substitution for Wednesday’s 1-0 Premier Soccer League win over Maritzburg United at Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango rose from the bench to beat the final whistle with the decisive goal that earned Pirates a second consecutive win while condemning their opponents to a five-match winless streak since the season restarted.
While facing a strong confrontation from Maritzburg’s attackers, Pirates’ defence marshalled by captain Happy Jele stood solid for a clean sheet.
“I think in the first half it was good, we had good chances we could have scored. But we know Maritzburg are a good team and we had to see this in the second half [where we] came more and more closer to the goal,” Zinnbauer told the media.
“We had a good defending structure today and we had cover at the back and I think for the whole team it was completely collective work against the opponents and it was the reason we won the game today.”
Pirates now prepare to face Stellenbosch in their last match of the season on Saturday.
Placed fourth on the table with just a point behind third-placed SuperSport United, Pirates would be gunning for maximum points against Stellenbosch hoping to secure a top-three finish and a Caf Confederation Cup spot.
“I think it’s now important we have won games in a row now,” said Zinnbauer.
“We have the last game and that’s important for us to take the three points and [then] we have nine points [from the last three games] and then the season will be okay for us.
“Maybe we have a chance for that place [top three] and when we have the chance, we have to take this. This is the target we have in the last game.”
The German was pleased with his decision to introduce Mhango with seven minutes remaining on the clock as he replaced Fortune Makaringe.
It was Mhango’s first goal in the bubble and his 15th of the season to end a goal drought of seven league matches.
Zinnbauer welcomed Paseka Mako from injury and started midfielder Siphesihle Ndlovu who was in the starting line-up for the first time since February and was crowned the best player on the field.
“Compliment Mako comes back from injury and he had a top game, always fighting for us and Ndlovu Man-of-the-Match I think it’s 100 percent that with this award he got, he makes a top performance. He was top, he was organised on the pitch, makes top work,” Zinnbauer said.
“Then you have luck as a coach, you make a change or you make a substitute and Gaba scored. This is the stuff which the coach ordered to see.”