Josef Zinnbauer praises his veterans for Soweto Derby win
JOHANNESBURG - Josef Zinnbauer may appear as the mastermind behind Orlando Pirates’ recent dominance over Kaizer Chiefs but he’s adamant it’s the senior players in the team who have led from the front.
Coach Zinnbauer endured a tough first Soweto Derby early last year, watching his Buccaneers fall 1-0 to Chiefs, who were then under the stewardship of his German compatriot Ernst Middendorp.
But since then, the 50-year-old coach has flipped the script and has had the upper hand against Chiefs and their new coach Gavin Hunt.
Pirates thrashed Chiefs 5-0 on aggregate in the MTN8 semi-finals late last year before completing a hat-trick of wins via the Premiership on Saturday.
The Sea Robbers claimed this year’s first bragging rights through goals from Man of the Match Thembinkosi Lorch and Siphesihle Ndlovu, while Daniel Cardoso provided the consolation goal for Chiefs with five minutes left to play.
Zinnbauer, though, refused to take credit for his team’s splendid outing against Chiefs, saying two of their longest serving squad members – captain Happy Jele and deputy Ntsikelelo Nyauza – provided the much-needed motivation for the team heading into this titanic clash.
“We have players that have played a lot of derbies in the past against Kaizer Chiefs. I think they are important for us,” Zinnbauer said.
☠ FT || @orlandopirates 2 - 1 @KaizerChiefs— Orlando Pirates FC (@orlandopirates) January 30, 2021
🥅 38' Thembinkosi Lorch
🥅 80' Siphesihle Ndlovu
🎙 Goalscorer | Siphesihle Ndlovu
🎙 Goalscorer & MOTM | Thembinkosi Lorch
⚫⚪🔴⭐#DStvPrem #SowetoDerby #Matchday#OrlandoPirates#OnceAlways pic.twitter.com/l3s8v5q4qG
“The likes of Happy and Nyauza; this is what you need, the experience.
“We had new players on the field and they needed to hear the stories, so all the players knew what had happened before, and they then fought for three points.
“I said it during the pre-match interview on TV that I saw it in the players’ eyes that they were ready for three points.
“It was a top game from both teams. We are happy with three points.”
Having been at Pirates for almost 15 and seven years respectively, Jele and Nyauza were the only two squad members to have won a trophy – the Nedbank Cup – before Pirates’ MTN8 success in December.
The duo has proven that experience cannot be bought, especially after holding the hands of Richard Ofori, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Bongani Sam in defence as they repelled Chiefs’ forays until the last five minutes of the game.
“It was a team effort. We needed this win against Chiefs,” Zinnbauer said.
“It was a special game, and now in the Derby the record is 3-1. That’s good for us and the supporters.
“But the thinking was three points. It wasn’t easy, Chiefs were good in the last weeks.
“Richard (Ofori) was very good today. He dealt with the crosses well.
“And the defenders made a good performance. I say it again, it was not easy against Kaizer Chiefs but we now have to focus on the next game.”
In their next clash, Bucs will be away to Golden Arrows at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban tomorrow (5pm kick-off).
In their last meeting a fortnight ago, the two teams played out a goalless draw at Orlando Stadium.