Johannesburg – Orlando Pirates boss Vladimir Vermezovic believes he has the necessary experience and expertise to lead the Buccaneers to the Nedbank Cup title in May.
Goals from Daine Klate and Oupa Manyisa either side of half-time led the Sea Robbers to a 2-1 quarter-final victory over Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, keeping Vermezovic's side on course to make it to their fourth Cup final of the season.
“I said to the players, they know how to reach a final, I know how to win a final, and then we have to help each other. They made the first step, another step and then it's my turn,” Vermezovic said after the game in Pretoria.
Despite three Cup final appearances last year – MTN8, Telkom Knockout and Caf Champions League – Pirates have yet to lift a trophy this season and are looking to go one better in what is their last shot at silverware. The Premiership crown is out of reach for the former champions.
A man-of-the-match display from Senzo Meyiwa laid the foundations as Pirates lifted themselves in the second half and saw out a morale boosting win against the Premiership leaders, following successive defeats last week.
“Back-to-back defeats, then a win like this... I'm very happy with the way we played,” Vermezovic added.
“The result could have been different but thanks to our goalkeeper and defence we got through. Supporters must be satisfied with today's game. Both teams played at a very high level. They had a lot of chances.
“It was very difficult to lift them up and I am happy too because of that.”
With the weight of three final appearances and no trophies, Vermezovic said he and his troops felt the pressure heading into yet another semifinal.
“In any big club, a season without a trophy is a bad season. We know that and we will prepare to win it.”
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane, meanwhile, admitted his side were always going to struggle after conceding the first goal just six minutes in, after striker Lennox Bacela was brought down inside the area, resulting in Manyisa's penalty.
“My substitutions were forced, not tactical. When you are forced in the first five minutes and concede a penalty you will always be on the back foot,” Mosimane said.
“This is football, you are bound to lose. Even Barcelona lost... and Real Madrid. It happens. Senzo stood between us and the win. When the keeper wins Man-of-the-match it tells you something.”
Pirates joined Maritzburg United and Kaizer Chiefs in the last four, with Wits set to take on Bloemfontein Celtic in Sunday's last quarter-final tie. – Sapa