Josef Zinnbauer says 3-0 wasn’t a true reflection, defends Orlando Pirates performance in Mamelodi Sundowns loss
CAPE TOWN - Under-fire coach Josef Zinnbauer has defended Orlando Pirates' performance despite going down 3-0 to Premiership log-leaders Mamelodi Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
Pirates' defeat, the third at the hands of Sundowns this season, drew a sharp rebuke from Bucs supporters who vented their anger on social media and demanded that Zinnbauer be shown the exit door.
Zinnbauer said the 3-0 scoreline did not accurately reflect the game.
The momentum swung dramatically Sundowns' way when they were awarded a fortunate penalty around the hour mark. Prior to this turning point, Zinnbauer said that his team had looked the likelier to score. Up to that stage, the best scoring chances fell to the Pirates striker Deon Hotto.
“We had a lot of possibilities in the first half," Zinnbauer said.
"I think from the outside it was clear my team was leading the game (before the penalty).
"We were closer to a goal than Sundowns and then they got the penalty. There was nothing before (from them) in the second half.
"Yes, the first 10-15 minutes we needed to find our structure."
Zinnbauer said penalties caused controversies all over the world. He thought the decision to award a penalty against defender Innocent Maela was harsh.
"His arms were hanging down his side, and he did not try to stop the ball," he explained.
Zinnbauer admitted that his team went into the match without a training session. The team had spent two days on the road after playing in Nigeria last Wednesday.
"You need the power for this game," said Zinnbauer.
"It is always the same players on the field.
"It wasn't our defensive structure that was the problem. It was more (a lack of) concentration from the passing line. We have to understand we have so many injured players now.
Zinnbauer said Pirates were using the same players week in and week out because of injuries and suspensions. He felt he needed some of his experienced campaigners for the match.
“We have to understand we have so many injured players at the moment," said Zinnbauer.
"You need special players like Happy Jele, (Thembinkosi) Lorch and (Terrence) Dzvukamanja. They have the experience in these games."
More bad news ahead of Pirates' next fixture tomorrow against Black Leopards, is that Fortune Makaringe and Ntsikelelo Nyauza are serving suspensions after picking up their fourth bookings of the season on Sunday.