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Football | Absa Premiership

Bongi Ntuli with Siyabonga Sangweni © Backpagepix

Bucs out for double over Arrows



Orlando Pirates will look to extend their unbeaten run in the Absa Premiership when they visit Lamontville Golden Arrows at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday, kick-off at 19h30.

The Buccaneers have not suffered defeat in their last seven league outings and go into this match fresh from a 2-1 away win over Maritzburg United on the weekend.

Nonetheless, despite collecting maximum points for the first time in their last three matches, coach Roger De Sa was critical of his side’s overall performance on the night.

“It wasn’t a very good performance; let’s be honest,” he said. “It was probably my worst performance at Pirates and we managed to scratch a win.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, hopefully we can get through the Wednesday night match, then we have a couple of things that we got to work on.”

The Buccaneers are placed second on the Absa Premiership log with 31 points from 15 matches and will travel to Durban looking to maintain their good away record which has seen them lose one of the eight games they have played on the road.

However, De Sa has highlighted a few areas that they have to improve on if they are to overcome an unpredictable Arrows side.

“Giving the ball away cheaply in the final third and also not creating enough chances,” he said. “We were disorganised (against Maritzburg), everyone was all over the place and our subs were poor; we have to get better.

“I’ve warned the players about taking the foot of the pedal a little bit, and we have to rectify those things and push on and on.”

Arrows will also go into this game in high spirits following their 2-0 win over Ajax Cape Town which helped to nudge them further away from the relegation zone.

“It was another good performance at home, another good one from us,” said coach Manqoba Mngqithi said. “I think all the matches at home we’ve played well since I’ve arrived.

“We were just unfortunate in a few of the games not to have gotten the result.”

Abafana Bes’thende are placed 11th on the Absa Premiership log with 16 points from 15 matches but the 41-year-old coach is also expecting his side to improve in certain areas.

“I think we were scrappy, we never really dominated the game, although we deserved to win,” Mngqithi said.

“There were some good moments, but there were also times where we really were loose.

“I think the position we’re in (on the log) creates added anxiety for the players, which lead to more errors being compared.

“If we had to get out of this area and maybe be challenging for a top eight spot, perhaps the quality of this team will be seen.”

Last season the Buccaneers pulled a league double over Abafana Bes’thende, winning 2-0 at home, before recording a 4-2 win in Durban to clinch the league title.

When the two sides met in Johannesburg at the start of the current season, Pirates came back from behind to win 2-1.

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