Hungry Lions take lessons from Nebank cup loss to Orlando Pirates

Coach Basie now targets promotion to the Premiership

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Hendry Basie, coach of Hungry Lions during the 2024 Nedbank Cup against Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto.
Hendry Basie, coach of Hungry Lions during the 2024 Nedbank Cup against Orlando Pirates at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto.

Hungry Lions coach Henry Basie has told of how the crowd at Orlando Stadium on Saturday somehow intimidated his players as they lost 4-0 to Orlando Pirates, likening the Soweto venue to Liverpool's Anfield, one of the most lively and intimidating atmospheres in world football.

Pirates earned this big win in the Nedbank Cup last 16 courtesy of Tshegofatso Mabasa's brace, coupled with an own goal from Morena Monaheng and Monapule Saleng's strike.

Bucs, who are the defending champions of this cup, will learn their last eight opponents when the draw is conducted at SuperSport Studios in Randburg tonight (6pm).

"The occasion ran away with some of them [his players]. They got overwhelmed. The crowd here is so close to you and we tried to coach from the bench but the players couldn't hear us... I mean we've never experienced something like this before,'' Basie said.

"It [the atmosphere at Orlando Stadium] is almost like when they talk about the Liverpool Stadium [Anfield], I saw it today... the conditions were tough here. The boys were a little bit nervous."

Basie also feels the grass being wet contributed to them struggling, admitting the Sea Robbers were in their element. The Lions coach is confident that the lessons will help them as they are gunning for promotion to the big league.

Lions are sixth in the Motsepe Foundation Championship with 31 points, eight behind leaders Magesi.

"Where we come from, we are playing on dry grass and our players couldn't get the grip of the ball tonight... it was difficult to keep the ball the whole time. The conditions were really playing a little bit against us. However, we've learnt a lot from this game and we can grow from here,'' Basie explained.

"Pirates were exceptional today. We also played well in the first few minutes in the first half. We should have had maybe one session on pitches like this.

"Because we are playing for promotion, the lessons we've learnt here tonight give us a better understanding of what's happening in the Premier League. We obviously need these learnings to take it to the can just enhance our performance.''


Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.