DStv Premiership: Profligate Pirates drop points — Baroka up to third
It was another entertaining weekend in the DStv Premiership, with 14 goals scored across the six fixtures.
After each of the four fixtures played on Saturday failed to produce winners, with draws for title hopefuls Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates, the pair of encounters that took place on Sunday saw two teams walk away with invaluable three points apiece.
Orlando Pirates missed the opportunity to leapfrog Swallows into second place on the DStv Premiership log, much to the frustration of coach Josef Zinnbauer.
The Buccaneers played out to an exciting 2-2 draw against Cape Town City, coming back from behind twice thanks to a Vincent Pule brace.
Whereas Zinnbauer might have been impressed by his team’s character in coming back, there would have been disappointment that they dropped more points this season.
This was their fourth draw in six matches this term. This is despite the Soweto side dominating goal-scoring chances on the day, with 20 against the nine City had. They also hit the woodwork twice.
“I think you see two post shots, a lot of chances. I think together maybe 12 or 50. I don’t know what we have [to do] to score,” Zinnbauer told Supersport after the game
“If you don’t score then you cannot win a game. We had the tactical [side] 100% in the game, and the shape we needed. Also, it was not easy against City, we know this, like a good game, good team with ball possession, with defending structures.”
Off the mark
Maritzburg United showed character in coming from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday evening.
Up to that point, the Team of Choice was pointless. They had lost five in five games, which led to the sacking of Eric Tinkler. His replacement, former Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp, was pleased with the team’s first point this season.
“At the moment it is sometimes a little bit of uncertainty, where we’re carrying around, running around on the field, but as I said it’s a process, it’s a start, it’s a long way to go,” said the German coach.
Sundowns’ assistant coach Steve Komphela bemoaned the dropped points by Masandawana – especially with their closest rivals Pirates and Swallows also dropping points.
“Compliments must be given to them [Maritzburg] for fighting hard. In our opinion, it’s more like two points dropped because we’re highly ambitious and desperate to get on with our business,” Komphela.
Middendorp will hope they can take the momentum from this result into their final two games before the Christmas break. Maritzburg will clash with Swallows and Stellenbosch respectively in their final games of 2020.
Baroka blast into third
Limpopo side Baroka moved up to third place on the log table with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Chippa United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Matsimela Thoka’s charges snapped a three-game winless run with the victory, which came courtesy of goals by Evidence Makgopa and Richard Mbulu. Nhlanhla Mgaga laid on both assists to cancel out Sandile Mthethwa’s first-half goal.
The positive start so far for Bakgakga will give them hope that they won’t be forced into a relegation scrap similar to that of last season, where they survived going to the relegation playoffs by the skin of their teeth.
Cape Town side Stellenbosch punished the wasteful TS Galaxy in Mbombela, Mpumalanga. Steve Barker’s team were 1-0 victors on the day, ending Galaxy’s unbeaten run and dampening the birthday celebrations of the club’s owner and president Tim Sukazi.
Midfielder Bathusi Aubaas was particularly wasteful for the home side. Time and again he found himself in good positions, but bad decision-making meant he couldn’t find the final pass to his teammates, to the visible frustration of coach Dan Malesela.
For Stellies, the encounter was their fourth on the road in six matches. The victory moved them up to eighth spot on the log, usurping their opponents on Sunday.
“Hard-fought victory. The commitment shown by the players… It’s not an easy place to come to, it’s far away to travel. But to come here and work and fight as hard as we did… We showed resilience and bounced back from a disappointing performance last week,” Barker told Supersport after the game. DM