June 23, 2021

Orlando Pirates legend Mothibi hails ES Setif defence as ‘spot on’ against Zinnbauer’s men

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The Buccaneers kicked off their Group A campaign in the continental competition with a point claimed on the road

Former Orlando Pirates striker James Mothibi says “tactical” ES Setif “had a defensive plan” which worked well to deny the Soweto giants maximum points in Wednesday’s Caf Confederation Cup clash in Ghana.

It was a goalless affair as both sides struggled to score the entire evening at Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra.

Algerian side Setif were the home side and Mothibi says a point on the road is commendable for Pirates who met a team with a well-organised defence.

“I played in the Caf tournaments and I know how difficult it is to play in countries like West or East Africa,” said Mothobi as per Phakaaathi.

“They were playing in Accra on Wednesday. Accra is very hot, and maybe the heat might have played a part in their play and also, Algerian teams are very tactical. So, if you look at that game, Setif was very defensive because if you can also check shots at goals Pirates did not have shots on target which means Setif’s defence was spot on. Like I said, Algerian teams are very tactical.

“The moment we have less shots on goals means that our [Pirates] attack was more on the wings, hence we didn’t get enough shots on target. But it’s difficult in Africa. So, that alone tells you that Setif had a defensive plan. But getting a point away from home is good for them. Maybe they will have a better performance in the second leg.”

It was a match in which Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer started without a natural striker and Tshegofatso Mabasa came on with 10 minutes to go, while Frank Mhango was on the bench for the entire match.

The Buccaneers’ bid to breach the Setif defence was spearheaded by Linda Mntambo who played as a number nine.

After the goalless draw Pirates sit second on the Group A table with two points behind leaders Enyimba who edged Al Ahli Benghazi on the same day at home.

Up next for the Buccaneers is the hosting of Enyimba on March 17 in a match that provides them with a chance of claiming top spot.

After that, they visit traditional foes Kaizer Chiefs for a Premier Soccer League Soweto derby clash four days later.