Playing against a team that’s in relegation was always going to be a challenge, admits Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer after his charges fought their way through a slight 1-0 win over Maritzburg United at the Harry Gwala Stadium last Saturday.
Maritzburg did give Pirates a tough battle with the Team of Choice coming in hard, but Pirates remained solid at the back while goalkeeper Richard Ofori made some crucial saves.
Deon Hotto’s 40th minute strike proved to be the difference for the Buccaneers as they ended up getting their first three points in two games.
But, the Bucs coach believes they could have easily sealed this tie early on in the match after creating many goal-scoring opportunities.
“Tough game, but I think in the first half we had big chances. We could have decided this game early. The first 10 minutes of the second half was good, we could have scored with the opportunities we got. If you don’t score (opponents gain confidence) and they went all out in this game. Then we had counter attacks but we were a little bit too casual,” said Zinnbauer after the game.
“Ofori made some good work today (Saturday), as well as the defenders. In general, the whole team worked really good. It was not the best performance, but it was a game against a relegation team, it’s not so easy. They fought for their lives, but the important thing is that we got the three points.”
With the win, the German born coach believes it will boost the morale of the team as they now prepare for their next game against another relegation threatened side TS Galaxy at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday.
“We get more self confidence now, it’s important for us. We now go home have a good recovery session and focus on the next game.”
Bucs are now six points behind joint log leaders Swallows FC and Mamelodi Sundowns who are on 27 points after the Buccaneers, took their point tally to 21 after 13 matches.