Bucs unfazed by Chiefs title push
After climbing to the top of the Premiership table, Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa insists the Buccaneers are unconcerned about the other teams in the title race.
Pirates, targeting their third straight league crown, secured a 1-0 victory over SuperSport United at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday, leapfrogging Kaizer Chiefs into first position on the log.
Bucs were on 37 points after 17 games – one point ahead of their Soweto rivals and three clear of high-flying Platinum Stars.
“It's a good thing, it's nice to be on top,” De Sa said after the game.
“More importantly you set targets – you set a target of a certain number of points – and that's what you have to focus on, not worrying too much about the guys around you, and hopefully we'll reach those points we want to achieve.”
De Sa said his side simply needed to keep churning out positive results.
“It really is just another win," he said of their first game back from a lengthy two-month Premier Soccer League hiatus.
"It was always going to be difficult coming from a break and playing SuperSport, who are playing a lot better. They were sharp and quick.
“We just now have to focus on the next game. We just have to put this win behind us. There's a lot more football to play.”
The coach admitted it was not the highest quality of matches, and Pirates should have scored a second goal.
Oupa Manyisa struck as early as the second minute, and De Sa believed Daine Klate's attempt seven minutes later, which sailed over the crossbar, could have stamped their authority on the match.
“The game was always going to be scrappy, maybe we scored too early and we got pinned down.
“We weren't that sharp, we kept giving the ball away. Daine Klate's miss would have changed it.
"It was always going to open up and we should have killed it off earlier.”
Chiefs dropped points in a goalless draw against Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday night, presenting the opportunity for the title holders to take the lead in the league race, but De Sa repeated his stance that their opposition was not their concern.
“Chiefs drew and they could've easily won. We could've lost today and that's the way it goes,” he said.
“We've got a goal to achieve – over 60 points. I don't think anyone has ever come second with 62 points.”
SuperSport coach Gavin Hunt said it had been a frustrating season as they remained in the bottom half of the standings, moving into the business end of the campaign.
Matsatsantsa went down in their third league defeat of the season, but a crushing 11 draws have stunted their campaign.
“Last year we lost three games after 17 [matches] and we were second in the league,” Hunt said.
“Now we've lost three after 17 and we're ninth so it's got to tell you something. We've been poor at both ends of the pitch, defensively at times and also in front of goal.”
In other games on Wednesday, visitors Golden Arrows bagged a 2-0 win over University of Pretoria at Tuks Stadium, while Ajax Cape Town played to a 1-1 draw against Moroka Swallows in Cape Town.
Platinum Stars beat Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 in Phokeng to keep pressure on the Soweto giants.
On Tuesday, Mamelodi Sundowns played to a goalless draw with Kaizer Chief at Loftus Versfeld, and bottom feeders AmaZulu bagged a valuable point in a 0-0 stalemate against Maritzburg United in Durban.
Wits defeated Black Leopards 2-0 in Polokwane, while Free State Stars ran out 3-0 victors over struggling newcomers Chippa United in Phuthaditjhaba.