Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
29 Jul 2019
10:27 am

Pirates in good heart, disjointed Chiefs not at the races

Sibongiseni Gumbi

If Orlando Pirates' display in their 2-0 win over Kaizer Chiefs in the Carling Cup on Saturday afternoon is anything to go by, the Bucs fans have every right to be hopeful of a successful campaign.

New Maritzburg United head coach Ernst Middendorp (Photo by Gallo Images)

Pirates were precise, decisive and clinical and the score could have been even bigger. Augustine Mulenga and Thembinkosi Lorch scored in the first half as Bucs ran rings around a side that looked out of their depth.

And considering that the teams who started the match were selected by fans and not the coaches, it gives an indication that Pirates’ performance could have been even more fluid had it been the other way around.

READ: Middendorp rues missed chances in Chiefs’ derby loss

But by the same token, it leaves the Chiefs faithful with very little to be hopeful about going into the new season which starts this weekend. They looked lethargic, but coach Ernst Middendorp didn’t look too concerned.

“We had a period where the defensive line was not connected to the midfield line. We practiced it during preseason but unfortunately the players who just came back from Afcon and had just two training sessions were not on the same level and were not really sharp,” said Middendorp.

READ: Pirates coach Micho targets more trophies after derby win

He seemed confident and even tolerant as some questions were stinging ones – that said his team are capable of a better performance going forward.

“I believe making mistakes allowed the opponents to score – it happens. On the other side we also had our chances. I don’t think I am the only one who would say it was possible for us to have equalised with the performance when we got closer to each other.

“I thought it would have been possible to score at least two or three,” said the German.

The likes of Lazarous Kambole, Samir Nurcovic and Leonardo Castro had some chances going wide or saved by Wayne Sandilands when Chiefs found a rare passage through Bucs’ otherwise solid defence.

Chiefs – who are out of the MTN8 in the upcoming season after finishing outside the top eight in the last term – begin their Absa Premiership campaign away at Highlands Park next Sunday.

Pirates host Bloemfontein Celtic at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening.


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