Orlando Pirates got away with murder against Thanda Royal Zulu in the Nedbank Cup last 32 at Umhlathuze Sports Complex after managed to score two important goals within 5 minutes of the referee optional time to force the game into the extra time.
Pirates scored first goal in the 90 minutes and 45 seconds by Ayanda Gcaba and Helder Pelembe in the 93 minutes and 50 seconds within the 5 minutes added time to cancelled the brace scored by Thanda midfielder Andile Fikizolo in the 1st minute and 37 minutes of the first half.
Pirates players later showed character by taking a led through Kermit Erasmus in the first half of the extra time but Mhlengi Cele of Thanda spoilt the show by taking the game to penalties shoot-out after scored an equalizing goal within the last 14 seconds of the game. However, Pirates progressed to the last 16 of the cup after winning the game 3-1 via penalties.
The stressed Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Eric Tinkler was livid after the game.
“To be honest, I was not impressed with how we started the game… you can’t as professional team like Pirates conceded in the first minute of the game especially the way we did.”
“It was totally unacceptable. We couldn’t pick or win any second ball…our movement didn’t exist. We looked total out if it. I don’t know if it was travelling that we have been doing in the past 3 weeks… possibly it might have an effect but the first half was a half to forget as we got away with murder.”
Pirates caretaker coach was also worried about conceding soft goals from set-piece.
“It is the same old story… we talked every week about mistakes we keep making. The problem is that those mistakes are coming from the same areas which are free kick and corner kick and as professional athletes, they shouldn’t been doing that.”
Tinkler applauded his boys for their fighting spirit after telling them to be patient to get back into the game which made difference at the end of the game.
By Owen Mundalamo