Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
4 Mar 2019
10:12 am

Pirates breathe a sigh relief

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Orlando Pirates fought hard for their win over Golden Arrows at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday night.

Alfred Ndengane of Orlando Pirates (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

In a very tightly contested affair, a 20th-minute Justin Shonga goal was enough for victory which sees Bucs moving to within a single point of league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns on 39 points, while Downs are on 40.

Defender Alfred Ndengane was voted Man of the Match for his solid performance.

However, he admits that going down to KwaZulu-Natal they knew it wasn’t going to be easy and Arrows did make it difficult.

“We knew that coming here would be difficult because we were coming up against a well- coached team. They closed down our space in midfield and pressed high. But we managed to get the goal from a corner and after that we had to be smart and play our normal game,” said Ndengane.

Bucs assistant coach Fadlu Davids said they had to come up with plans to try and break down a solid Arrows back four.

“We had to think out of the box to unlock them and we did that through a corner kick, real improvisation by the players overloading with a numerical superiority during a corner kick. They left three up front and we took advantage of that,” said Davids.

For Arrows, the loss sees the KZN outfit in 10th place with 25 points.

Steve Komphela’s charges have five wins, 10 draws and seven losses in 22 games. They will be eager for a win when they travel to Limpopo for a meeting with Polokwane City in their next league encounter on Saturday as they seek a top eight finish.

Pirates host Bloemfontein Celtic at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday in their pursuit for the Absa Premiership title with a Caf Champions League encounter against Zimbabwean side FC Platinum at the same venue three days later.

 

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