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Pirates Lucky To Escape With A Point Against Cape Town City

Pirates lucky to escape with a point against Cape Town City

It was 8 months old Cape Town City FC , who are second on the log with 31 points, hosting 80 year old , 10th placed Orlando Pirates in search of a morale boosting win. The Buccaneers had gone 8 matches without a win in all competitions, a bitter pill to swallow for their supporters. They had to turn the corner against CT City. Looking at their line up there were few changes, some injury forced. Jackson Mabokgwane, was missing due to the red card he got in the last match, this meant that Brighton Mhlongo was back in goals after recovering from injury, so Mphontshane remained on the bench for the Cape game. 

In defense Marc van Heerden was out due to a knock he picked up against Wits. Marc’s place went to Ntsikelelo Nyauza. So it meant Thabo Matlaba went back to left back, Ayanda Gcaba and Happy Jele kept their places. Nyauza had a tough evening keeping the pacey and tricky Aubrey Ngoma at bay. Jele really brings stability and leadership into the Pirates defence. The team displayed good organisation besides the lapse of concentration in the last minutes of the first half, they were solid.

For the first goal they conceded, the defense went to sleep in the 60th minute because they didn’t anticipate the second ball and Roland Putsche punished them when he reacted the quickest to make it 1 all. The second City goal was from a brilliant defense splitting pass which the inform Lebogang Manyama slotted home with 5 minutes from the end. Due to this loss of concentration  in the last 5 minutes, City were throwing everything in attack and now playing with 3 upfront. The defense was caught square while trying to push up. Overall they can build from this performance .

In midfield Thembinkosi Lorch and Memela kept there places in the wings, captain Oupa Manyisa and Abbubaker Mobara kept their combo going in central midfield. So it was an unchanged midfield from the last game. Mobara was impressive playing in front on his home crowd, and tactically playing in front of the back four which meant his responsibility was to protect the back 4, start play from the back and break opposition play which I felt he did well including circulating the ball.

Riyaad Norodien came on to replace Lorch and brought a lot of pace, skill and trickery. He looked dangerous everytime he was on the ball. Norodien capped his performance with a long range goal in the dying minutes of the game. He never disappoints coming from the bench, but now he needs to push on and fight to start the next game. But you can see the confidence is coming back especially on the wingers on the evening.

Upfront Thamsanqa Gabuza and Dove Wome were rewarded for finishing the game well in the last game. So they both started. Wome’s experience was vital, he showed intelligence in his movement  and positioning. It seems the Buccaneers have found the man to take the goal scoring weight a bit off Tendai Ndoro. Even though match fitness is still an issue, with more game time he will get better. He can also play in that number 10 role and also on the wing. Wome took his goal well after a lovely run by Amigo Memela  after a good interception, he only lasted for about 70 minutes.

Gabuza brought energy in the striking department, his movement was good to create spaces for his team mates. But he needs to work on his positioning to create chances for himself because as a striker you are judged on the number of goals. I thought despite the chances missed by the Buccaneers looked better and threatening. Gabuza lasted 80 minutes and Ndoro replaced him in the last 10 minutes.

Caretaker coach, Augusto Palacious in his last match before the new coach is named, must have been happy with the commitment, attitude and application of the players on the night and the new coach can build from there.

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