Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler admitted that his team has been suffering a lot from defending set-pieces and the players have been working hard at training trying to solve the problem.
However, he was left disappointed when his charges failed to deal with one set-piece that cost them maximum points as the Buccaneers were held to a 1-1 draw by a 10 men Platinum Stars team at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
“That was disappointing for me, but I thought in the first half we knew they would be looking to play on a counter attack against us. I thought we dealt with it extremely well. We had a lot of set pieces against us, particularly in the beginning of the game and we also dealt with those really well, something we obviously worked on. Because we knew that would be another main threat, it has been a threat so far in the league.”
The Buccaneers were first to open the scoring in the first half, courtesy of Issa Sarr’s well taken shot after the Midfielder found himself unmarked inside the box.
But that lead only lasted for the rest of the first half, as Dikwena striker Ndumiso Mabena leveled the scores with a brilliant header from a Tintswalo Tshabalala free-kick, beating Siyabonga Mpontshane in the near post in the first few minutes of the second half.
“We spoke about it during the half-time, the fact that we were dealing well with it. The focus and concentration needed to remain. Unfortunately we got caught again from a set-piece, that’s the disappointment for me.”
“I think in the second half we started to put more passes together. Obviously when they went down to 10 men. We started to create a lot more chances and I felt we should have won this game, but that was not the case,” Tinkler continues.
“We were making the wrong decisions in the wrong areas. We got ourselves a lead and obviously we needed time protect it and we nearly gave it away just before half-time. We got to avoid that situation because it puts pressure on us.”