De Sa happy after Bucs fight back
Newly appointed Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa was pleased to come away with a tough 3-1 away win after his side showed spirit to fight back against Premiership newcomers the University of Pretoria at Loftus Versfeld on Sunday afternoon.
"It was a scary start for us, going 1-0 down, which made it even more difficult, but we knew it was going to be difficult," De Sa said after the Buccaneers climbed to second in the league standings.
"We are happy to get three goals and get a win here for us on the road, but they were very difficult to beat, no doubt about it."
The home side applied early pressure on the Soweto giants, but the Buccaneers hit back to secure victory by a comfortable margin.
"Going a goal down made it even tougher for us and the conditions didn't help too much, because of the heat, but it was hot for both sides and we were able bounce back before halftime," De Sa said.
"If we had gone 1-0 down at halftime, it would have been even more difficult, so at least we made it even for the second half."
Following Bongani Zungu's opener for the hosts, Collins Mbesuma scored a brace, and a second-half Andile Jali penalty guided Pirates to their fourth win of the season, closing the gap on log leaders Kaizer Chiefs to four points.
Tuks, meanwhile, dropped to fourth position, but stayed in touch with the front runners after their first defeat in top-flight football.
De Sa was pleased with Mbesuma's efforts, as the striker netted his first goal of the league season, but admitted the Zambian was still some way off his best form.
"He has worked hard at his game and his weight, getting back to full fitness, but I don't think he is there yet," De Sa said.
"He did the job. I don't think his touches were great, but he did the business for us.
"In general his game wasn't fantastic, we could all see that, but he's aware that he has to work a lot harder."
Having replaced former Buccaneers coach Augusto Palacios last month, De Sa believed he was seeing progress throughout his ranks, as his players were beginning to adapt to the new coach's style of play.
"The players enable you to play a style of football," he said.
"With the players that we have, it's easy to play a passing game because they are all able to play like that.
"There are changes (to the team's formation), but we do have the players that can play it."
Meanwhile, in Sunday's other fixture, Sameegh Doutie scored in extra-time to salvage a 3-3 draw for unbeaten SuperSport United against Black Leopards in Polokwane.
It was Matsatsantsa's sixth stalemate of the season, from seven encounters, leaving them in 10th place – one position ahead of Leopards.