Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
21 Apr 2016
9:55 am

Ndoro holds the key for Pirates against Sundowns

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Tendai Ndoro holds the key for Orlando Pirates heading into the crucial Nedbank Cup quarter- final against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday night at Lucas Moripe Stadium.

Tendai Ndoro celebrates a goal. (Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix)

The Zimbabwean striker has been in devastating form for the Buccaneers and has championed the Soweto giants’ late revival – scoring some crucial goals.

Ndoro’s sustained scoring form has seen him score nine goals (five in the league and four in the Nedbank Cup) in eight games since making his debut in February.

The 27-year-old carries the team’s hopes. If he is as sharp in Saturday’s game, then Pirates have a chance of advancing to the next round, and indeed winning the Ke Yona Cup. His combination with Luvuyo Memela – another one who has been given a chance and shone – has been brilliant.

The two, plus Lehlogonolo Masalesa and Edwin Gyimah have repaid Eric Tinkler’s faith, helping the team get some positive results to ease the pressure on the coach, who was a constant target of impatient fans who wanted him out.

Tinkler will rue missing two of his hard workers in Gyimah and Masalesa in Saturday’s game as they are suspended.

Masalesa was sent off in Pirates’ 4-1 win over Golden Arrows in a league game last weekend and Gyimah got his fourth booking, so he misses the game.

The suspensions left a bitter taste in Tinkler’s mouth as he felt the cards were harsh.

“I can understand Masalesa’s first yellow card. I don’t know what happened with the second one. Someone must explain it to me,” said Tinkler after the game.

“The yellow card given to Eddie was unreal. He (the referee) let him come back onto the pitch then books him. I don’t understand how that works,” he added.

Masalesa was given his marching orders in the second half after receiving a second yellow card for time-wasting. The Pirates midfield anchor was about to take a throw-in but then handed the ball to Thabo Matlaba, and the Arrows players indicated to referee Olani Kwinda that he was wasting time. Kwinda then gave him a second yellow and subsequently his marching orders.

In Sundowns, Pirates meet a well-oiled machine that rip apart whatever team gets in their way and Tinkler would have obviously liked to have all his players available.

In Masalesa’s place Tinkler will most likely go with Issa Sarr who came on as a substitute at the weekend and scored in the 4-1 win over Arrows.