Palacios not impressed by Bucs' first-half display
ORLANDO Pirates' title defence might have begun with a 2-1 come-from-behind win against Golden Arrows, but the back-to-back champions and treble winners' display on Friday night was not quite up to standard, said coach Augusto Palacios.
The Buccaneers coach expressed his disappointment at the team's display, especially in the first stanza of the game.
He lamented the harm that injuries caused to his plans, which saw him start the game with different combinations in midfield and in defence.
"I think this is the second game that we began very complacent and allowed our opponents more space to play then they scored," Palacios said. "Today's combinations were completely different. Oupa (Manyisa) was not there and we had to start with Manti (Moholo) in midfield.
"It was also the first time we started with Thabo (Matlaba) and Patrick (Phungwayo) on the left and right side of defence."
Arrows coach Muhsin Ertugral started with rookie striker Bongi Ntuli, who is a product of the club's development ranks.
The youngster did not disappoint as he hit the ground running, scoring on his league debut against seasoned campaigners in the Bucs defence, Lucky Lekgwathi and Siyabonga Sangweni.
"Our striker is just 19 years old but today Bongi played a good game," Ertugral said. "We had no one else that we could bring from the bench so we had to make use of what we had."
The Arrows mentor took a swipe at his two senior players, Thanduyise Khuboni and Souleymane Keita, who were outplayed by Andile Jali and Manti Moholo in the middle of the park.
"Khuboni and Keita are internationals but their display today was very disappointing. Keita is a championship winner in Turkey with Sivasspor and he should understand that you can't come to South Africa and play soft football," Ertugral said.
Meanwhile, a powerful second-half free-kick by Thamsanqa Sangweni broke the deadlock and gave Mamelodi Sundowns a narrow 1-0 win over Absa Premiership newcomers Chippa United at Lucas Moripe stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday.
Sangweni, making his league debut, took advantage after Gift Sithole conceded a free-kick on the edge of the danger area on 71 minutes. - Sapa