Pirates coach Zinnbauer dedicates his first-ever trophy to his son Fabio

14 December 2020 - 13:40
By Sazi Hadebe
Orlando Pirates captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and his teammates celebrate after winning the 2020 MTN8 final as head caoch Josef Zinnbauer looks on.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Orlando Pirates captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and his teammates celebrate after winning the 2020 MTN8 final as head caoch Josef Zinnbauer looks on.

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has dedicated his first-ever trophy to his son Fabio after leading the Bucs to the MTN8 title at the weekend.

The 24-year-old Fabio continues to fight for his life after a horror car accident in Nuremberg‚ Germany‚ in October and the German coach dedicated his side's 2-1 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic in Durban on Saturday night to him.

“For me personally this is the title for my son Fabio‚” the jubilant Bucs coach said.

“It’s a difficult time for my whole family. Fabio is in a coma and he’s better than before. He’s alive and this is important for us.”

Pirates had to come from behind through goals from Deon Hotto and Thembinkosi Lorch after Siphelele Luthuli’s opening goal. This enabled the Soweto giants to win their first trophy in six years.

The Bucs coach visited his son at a German hospital at the beginning of November.

Zinnbauer left the country immediately after guiding the Bucs to a 3-0 win in the first leg of the MTN8 semi-final clash against Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs.

He came back in time to sit on the bench when his charges finished the job with a 2-0 victory over Amakhosi in the second leg to reach the final against Celtic.

After the hard-fought victory on Saturday‚ a brimming Zinnbauer said he is proud of what he’s managed to achieve with his first club in Africa.

The 50-year-old German coach joined Bucs in December last year and has managed to steady the ship‚ helping the club to bag their 10th title in the top eight competition‚ a first one since 2011.

“First it was a shock that we conceded early in the second minute‚ but after that we came more and more into the game and created a lot of chances‚” said the Bucs coach of Saturday’s match.

“Then we scored and then gained more structure‚ dictated the game and should have scored more than one goal. But it’s football.

“In the second half we played to our strategy very‚ very well. You saw Lorch’s performance today; he was able to give us victory in this game.

“Yah it was unbelievable‚ he was so long out (injured) and came back this week and two days later he played this game. It was a top performance and we thank him for that.

“But Lorch was not alone‚ it was a team effort and the player was in great form today.”

The Bucs coach accepted that his charges were guilty of taking their foot off the pedal after Lorch had given them the lead via a spot kick in the 53rd minute.

“After we got the second goal‚ we lost a little of the structure. We did have counter-attacks but we didn’t score.

“In the last minute our opponents had an opportunity to score but (Richard) Ofori made a good save and this was important for us in this win.”

The Bucs coach dismissed the notion that they could be expected to win more trophies this season after the triumph against Celtic‚ admitting that their league campaign has not gotten off to a desired start after four draws and two wins in six games.

“At the end of the day I think we deserve this (MTN8)‚ we deserved to win this title. I’m happy for the supporters‚ the club and I thank the team for their good job.

“It’s a long way to a next title. But we can do this‚ we have opportunities for this‚ but it’s a long way and a long fight. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

“We’re not at the moment in the right position in the league and other clubs are ahead of us. We need to get more points and other teams to struggle.

“But we can’t speak about (the league) title at the moment.”