Da gama still nurses hopes

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Orlando Pirates coach Owen da Gama has refused to throw in the towel in the quest to wrestle the league title from SuperSport United, Ajax Cape Town and Santos.

This is despite dropping two valuable points after playing to a goalless draw against relegation-threated Jomo Cosmos at Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday.

Pirates needed a clear win to revive their Absa Premiership title aspirations, but with their inconsistency it seems that will remain a mere dream.

That they failed to get maximum points against Ezenkosi, credit should also go to Avril Phali, who deservedly got the man of the match award for making several dramatic saves to keep a clean slate.

Da Gama said: "I'm disappointed that we could not win the game, but we are now beginning to show that we can contest physically with other teams.

"Cosmos' defence do not concede easily, but we should have won by three of four goals. I thought we deserved a penalty. The championship title race is still open, we are not going to give up until the last game. We still have to play SuperSport and Ajax.

"Those two clubs are still to meet Santos, they all have to play against other clubs in the process, where anything can still happen."

On the other hand, a clearly relaxed Cosmos owner-coach Jomo Sono was pleased with one point from this game.

"Things are getting better for us, we are going through a bad patch but it happens to the best in the world. It's not that we are playing badly, just unlucky not to get goals.

"(Black) Leopards lost, which is good news for us. We are now competing with Leopards, three points will be good enough to leave them behind for good."

The two sides missed several scoring opportunities in this game, in which Cosmos finished with 10 men after defender Morgan Gould was sent off in the 85th minute.

Bucs striker Gilbert Mushangazhile hit the upright from a freekick in the 16th minute. Phali made a brilliant save from Innocent Mdledle in the 36th minute. Not to be outdone was Senzo Meyiwa, Bucs goalie, who made a superb save from Dikgang Mabalane in the 67th minute.