Orlando Pirates FC are currently lying 9th on the PSL log table. The team has never been out of the top 8 position since the PSL was formed. The team is also still in with a chance of winning the Nedbank Cup as they will be facing Golden Arrows in the semifinals.
On Wednesday night Orlando Pirates played the bottom side Baroka FC at home in Orlando. Pirates struggled against Baroka FC and that was not a good sign of a team trying to change fortunes after a disappointing season. Baroka FC should have won the match if they did not lose concentration during the last minute of the match.
Their coach Kjell Jonevret is an honest coach who tells a mistake as it is and he also gives praise where it is due. On Wednesday night Kjell was not impressed by his players as they were playing like they were scared of injuries. He indicated that all his players were on holiday during the match as they allowed Baroka FC to control the play.
A mistake by Siyabonga Mpontshane the Pirates goalkeeper led to the goal that Baroka scored in the second half. It then became difficult for Pirates to penetrate the Baroka defense as they seemed not much concerned about scoring while controlling play in the midfield.
Pirates’ defense has been the worst of all time this season as they have been easily beaten by opponents. It is very difficult for Pirates defenders to play as a unit and the only man who has been doing all the dirty job at the back Ayanda Gcaba has been exposed a lot due to him covering for his left and right backs all the time.
If Pirates are serious about winning the Nedbank Cup this season they must make sure their defense is tight in the finals otherwise they will have to go home empty handed again in the competition like they did last year when Brockie and his Supersport United teammates gave them a hiding in the finals at peter Mokaba Stadium.
In midfield the team has been doing well going forward and the system of using 2 central midfielders which are Abubaker Mobara and Issa Sarr has paid results as Oupa Manyisa is now able to dictate play going forward more for the team. Mpho Makola has also reenergized his services in the middle of play as he has scored vital goals for the team and also assisted in some goals scored by his teammates.
A team of Pirates’ status should be able to play consistently and have more positives than negatives but the current team has more negatives than positives. It seems as if the players are only much concerned about the Nedbank games than the PSL matches. They outplayed Bloemfontein Celtic in the Nedbank Cup and fans were expecting the same performance in the PSL match against Baroka FC.
Pirates’ defense is the reason their goalkeepers are seen as not good enough to play for Pirates. Just when fans were starting to say that they have found a goalkeeper in Siyabonga Mpontshane, he concedes a goal that was not supposed to have been a goal. The mistake could break his confidence that was building in each game he has played since taking over from Brighton Mhlongo and Jackson Mabokgwane.