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Marooned Orlando Pirates ship's one last shot at redemption

By Marc Strydom | 2017-05-18 15:42:57.0

Riyaad Norodien loves cup semifinals because they are one game and one shot at the glory of a final.

What Norodien might have mentioned about Sunday’s Nedbank Cup semi against Lamontville Golden Arrows at their Princess Magogo Stadium stronghold in Durban is that it is also Bucs’ one last shot at redemption in their 2016-17 tempus horribilus.

The former Ajax Cape Town winger was at pains on Thursday to stress that while the results for Pirates under coach Kjell Jonevret have not been forthcoming‚ Norodien believes the team has improved in performance since the Swede's arrival in February.

The forward‚ who has shown flashes of brilliance in his first season at the Buccaneers‚ was adamant that as long as Pirates continue with that progress‚ and with the added motivation of rescuing their 80th anniversary year‚ they will beat Arrows.

“I think‚ against Arrows‚ we just have to do what we’ve been doing in training‚ ” Norodien said.

“If you look at since the coach came here‚ we’ve stabilised the backline‚ we’ve conceded less goals than before.

“The team is looking much better and playing as a team.

“And I think what I love about cup games is that it’s one chance‚ one opportunity.

"And you take it and you can be in the final.

“So we shouldn’t also think too much about the semifinal‚ but just prepare well and do what we have been doing for the last few months.

“Because‚ to be honest‚ since the coach’s arrival everything has been much better.

“Yes‚ the results haven’t been showing.

"But I think performance-wise we’re on a much higher level.

“For the fans‚ all I can say is ‘Come out in numbers. Support us. Don’t not come’ because come Sunday I think everybody will have a smile on their face because as players‚ and the coach‚ we would love to put a trophy in the cabinet for the 80th anniversary.”

Pirates have only an outside chance left at the top eight in the Absa Premiership‚ 11th-placed Bucs needing a win by five goals and other results to go their way in the final round on May 27.

Pirates have had seven costly draws under Jonevret from 12 league games‚ and the Nedbank would appear their final chance at rescuing something from 2016-17.

Norodien has made 12 league and cup appearances in his first season at Pirates‚ five as a substitute.

Chippa United host SuperSport United in Saturday's semifinal at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London. - TMG Digital/TMG Sport