Bucs unfazed by draw at Stellies

Club blames lacklustre display on injury list

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Deon Hotto of Orlando Pirates celebrates his goal with teammates in the DStv Premiership match against Stellenbosch FC at Orlando Stadium on August 21, 2021.
Deon Hotto of Orlando Pirates celebrates his goal with teammates in the DStv Premiership match against Stellenbosch FC at Orlando Stadium on August 21, 2021.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/Gallo Images/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates joint interim coach Mandla Ncikazi feels the Buccaneers will be untouchable once they have a clean bill of health.

Pirates drew 2-all with Stellenbosch in their league opener at Orlando Stadium at the weekend. Stellies struck first via Waseem Isaacs in the second minute before Pirates drew level via Deon Hotto’s splendid free-kick 16 minutes later.

The Sea Robbers were reduced to 10 men when Ntsikelelo Nyauza was sent off for a reckless challenge on Ashley du Preez four minutes before the end of the first stanza.

Debutant Goodman Mosele put Pirates ahead in the 49th minute but Judas Moseamedi, who was also making his Stellies debut, denied Pirates maximum points, netting the equaliser five minutes before the hour mark.

Ncikazi, who  assumed the role of head coach alongside Fadlu Davids after the departure of Josef Zinnbauer last week, trusts Pirates will hit top gear when injured players like Thembinkosi Lorch, Thabang Monare and Ben Motshwari recover.

“I don’t think there’s a club with an unfortunate scenario like ours where you have a Ben Motshwari injured, you have a Monare injured and you have a Lorch injured...you have about 10 players out injured,’’ said Ncikazi.

“You were preparing with them and now all of a sudden you have to change. Wait until we have our full compliment of the team. I think there’s more to come if we have everybody back.”

With both goals Pirates conceded against Stellies, goalkeeper Richard Ofori could have arguably done better. Even so, Ncikazi was happy with how Ofori knuckled down against Stellies.

“I think today [on Saturday] he [Ofori] didn’t make mistakes. The second goal I wouldn’t blame him but it’s our defensive structure that allowed that cross to come in. I think Ofori is back, he performed well,” noted Ncikazi.

Pirates will be hoping to collect their first three points of the campaign when they host Marumo Gallants at Orlando Stadium at 5pm tomorrow.

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