Pirates, United to battle for final berth
Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United will have another chance to produce a winner when the two sides meet in the second leg of their MTN8 semifinal tie at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night at 8:15pm CAT.
The two sides played to a 0-0 draw in the first leg which took place at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday, and then went on to repeat the same result in their league encounter on Wednesday night.
Both encounters were characterised by bruising midfield battles with neither side allowing the other too much time on the ball, and although there were some scoring chances, most of them were wide of the target.
SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt felt that his side had done enough to get positive results, and will now look to be more effective in the game which will decide the team which will go into the final.
“Both sides were poor (on Wednesday), you could already see that second game has taken its toll, I don’t know what’s going to happen on Saturday,” said Hunt.
“I thought in the second half we were much better, we looked better, and how some of those balls from set-plays didn’t go in, I don’t know.”
Regarding the upcoming game, Hunt said his side were not going to make significant tactical changes, but will have to be more effective.
“We’re not going to do anything differently, we’ll just keep going, keep battling away and hopefully we can play a bit better.
“We were a little bit impatient, especially in the first half, and we were lacking a bit of cleverness in areas.”
Despite the consecutive goalless stalemates Pirates coach Augusto Palacios praised his side for continuing to play attacking football.
“We created chances, we tested the goalkeeper and we were right in the box,” said Palacios. “We must keep working hard and the goals will come; it’s part of football.
“I think we controlled the game and in the second half we continued to attack and didn’t sit back to play for a point, we just needed to score a goal.”
Unlike his counterpart, Palacios promised a different approach from his side when they take the field on Saturday night.
“We know the type of football SuperSport play, we have the team, we gave some players a rest for the game and on Saturday we are coming with a different formation and a different way to win the game.”
Both sides had a man sent off during the first leg, SuperSport losing midfielder Edwin Gyimah, while Pirates lost defender Rooi Mahamutsa towards the end of the match, and both players are set to miss this crucial encounter.
Matsatsantsa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams also had to be substituted on Wednesday night after taking a knock on his head and is doubtful for Saturday night’s clash.
Another goalless draw will see the game going to extra time and then penalties, while a scoring draw will be enough to see the Tshwane-based side going through on the away goal rule.