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Johannesburg – Striker Lehlohonolo Majoro is not guaranteed a spot in the starting team despite coming off the bench to score a spectacular brace to steer his side to a 3-1 win over Wits and a berth in the MTN8 final.
“Majoro is quality there is no doubt but Kermit Erasmus is still our first striker,” Orlando Pirates coach Vladimir Vermezovic said after the match.
“I would be fine with putting him in the second half if he scores two goals every match. That would be good for us and good for him.”
The Buccaneers advanced to the final of the MTN8 on Saturday after a 5-1 aggregate win over the Clever Boys over two legs.
Pirates are set to face either Kaizer Chiefs or Platinum Stars in the final scheduled for September 20.
Erasmus opened the scoring in the 53rd minute with a strike on the edge of the box after he ran riot over defender Kees Kwakman in an individual effort.
The Students pulled level after Getaneh Kebede won and converted a penalty kick in the 76th minute.
With scores level at a goal apiece, Majoro entered the game to replace Erasmus after the latter failed to take full advantage of the opposition defence.
Majoro said he was prepared to continue to work hard and hoped it was the start of good things for him at the Buccaneers.
“I believe that this is a stepping stone to me regaining my performance back and making the difference in the team,” Majoro said.
“We have a strong squad, everyone must wait his opportunity and I leave everything to the coach and we’ll see what happens next.”
So far in the season Majoro has been utilised predominantly as a second-half substitute which has been somewhat of a test in character since joining the club from arch rivals Kaizer Chiefs earlier in the year.
“I must give credit to my coach, technical staff and team-mates because they are the ones who always tell me to be patient and my time will come,” Majoro said.
It was Majoro’s first two goals as a Pirates player since switching allegiances in Soweto.
He opened his scoring account with a powerful volley in the 84th minute and his second was a sensational dink over the Wits goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane after beating the off-side trap in the 90th minute.
“I knew from the way it connected with my boot that it was going in,” he said.
“I saw the goalkeeper was off his line and I just aimed to lob it over him.”
It was the second final in six months for Pirates under the mentorship of Vermezovic after the team clinched the Nedbank Cup in May when they beat Wits 2-0, only weeks after the coach took charge.
The MTN8 final berth was Pirates’ fifth successive final in the last 12 months having reached the MTN8 (last season), Telkom Knockout, Caf Champions League and Nedbank Cup.
“After the first goal it was much easier for us,” Vermezovic said.
“I told the players if we score first it will be over and if they scored against us we are in trouble. Thanks to the good performance of our guys we are in another final.”
Wits coach Gavin Hunt felt his charges were the dominant team until the first goal.
“I thought we should have been three or four goals up before they scored from a break away,” Hunt said.
“They weren’t in the game let’s be honest. We were pushing and throwing everything at them.”
Hunt said the end result was not reflective of his team’s performance throughout the match.
“We deserved more than what we got that’s for sure. Before they scored we missed a goal on the line but that’s football.
“We went for it and I thought we played some excellent football.” – Sapa