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Football | Absa Premiership

Zeca Marques © Backpagepix

Marques praises Birds' spirit



Moroka Swallows coach Zeca Marques lauded his charges for the character they showed, fighting back from two goals down to beat Orlando Pirates 3-2 in a tightly contested Soweto derby at Dobsonville Stadium on Tuesday night.

Known for taking off his blazer when the Birds score a goal, Marques kept it on as he watched his team bounce back for the win, stretching their unbeaten run to four straight league matches, and climbing to 11th place in the Premiership standings.

He later expressed his pleasure in how the hosts had executed their game plan.

"We have been building for this and the momentum is building from our last four games," Marques said.

"I told the team that if we stop Pirates from playing, we have a chance of winning the match.

"We showed character and great tenacity, and I'm just happy that the fighting spirit is back."

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Pirates coach Roger De Sa blamed the loss on complacency and missed chances that could have seen the Buccaneers wrap up the game in the first stanza.

Bucs were coming off a crushing 4-1 defeat to amateur side Maluti FEC College in a Nedbank Cup clash at the weekend, and De Sa was disappointed with another loss, losing ground on table toppers Kaizer chiefs who remained two points ahead in the league table.

"At 2-0 up I really thought we had the game pretty well wrapped but we made some bad mistakes which cost us," he said.

"We made silly mistakes, bad marking, giving the ball away a lot in our own half and they took their chances."

Referee Phillip Tinyane made some questionable decisions that left De Sa incensed after the game.

"If he was a player I would have taken him off in the first 10 minutes," said the Pirates mentor.

"Anybody that saw some of the decisions will know that it wasn't of the greatest standard."

Marques, however, was more lenient on his analysis of the match official.

"Referees make blunders like our players make blunders, maybe because this was a derby and he was under pressure," Marques said.

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