Show-boating no issue for Josef Zinnbauer

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer during the Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. Bucs won the match 1-0. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer during the Absa Premiership match against Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night. Bucs won the match 1-0. / Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has refused to reprimand his midfielder Fortune Makaringe for showboating in their 1-0 Absa Premiership victory over Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.

After the match, Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane didn't hold back, rebuking Makaringe for his tricks. The Brazilians' tactician suggested that "kasi flavour" had no place in the top flight. Bucs won via a goal from Gabadinho Mhango, his 11th of the season.

Unlike many European-born coaches who've tried to abolish show-boating in SA, Zinnbauer appears to be a special case after defending Makaringe's piece of skill, arguing that even Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo does such tricks to entertain the fans at times.

"I saw my player, but maybe you heard the supporters [cheering at him]? Maybe [Thembinkosi] Lorch makes the same, maybe a Sundowns player makes the same, I don't know," said Zinnbauer.

"I know a player, I think his name is Ronaldo, he plays in Italy [for Juventus], and you know him. He makes the same, and the supporters get happy."

The German, who boasts three wins in four matches as Bucs coach, with one draw, emphasised he has no intentions to change the culture of SA football, that's largely characterised by flair, and implement a German approach.

"We cannot do much about this [show-boating]. I cannot say, 'hey Fortune, no, please! I change you if you make these things!' We are in Africa, not in Germany. South Africa, to be exact. Yes, I am from Germany and we are direct in our play, but I can't change how things are done here."

Against Sundowns, it was the first time that Pirates kept a clean sheet under Zinnbauer, having leaked three goals in three matches prior to this showdown.

The Buccaneers will be looking to maintain the same spirit they displayed against Downs when they welcome Highlands Park at the same venue tomorrow (6pm). Having conceded a whopping seven goals against Kaizer Chiefs and Stellenbosch in their last two outings, the Lions of the North are battling for form.

Amid the Tembisa outfit's recent downward spiral, rumours emerged earlier this week that coach Owen da Gama had resigned, but the club moved swiftly to quell those talks by releasing a statement reiterating their faith in their mentor.

However, it goes without saying that losing against in-form Pirates tomorrow would threaten Da Gama's future, so the showdown at Orlando Stadium is somewhat of a do-or- die situation for Highlands.

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