Ayanda Nkosi can push for a starting spot at Orlando Pirates after Tendai Ndoro signed for a Saudi Arabian club. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu, BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Tendai Ndoro’s departure to Saudi Arabian side Al Faisaly will give Ayanda Nkosi and Thabiso Kutumela an opportunity to stake a regular berth in Orlando Pirates’ attacking unit.

Pirates confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that they had “reached an agreement for the sale of the Zimbabwean international to Al Faisaly. Ndoro is due to undergo a medical in Saudi Arabia before the deal is finalised”.

Life without Ndoro started on Tuesday for the Buccaneers. The Zimbabwean, who was the club’s top goal-scorer last season with 13 goals in all competitions, isn’t part of the match-day 18 in tonight’s clash with Baroka FC at Peter Mokaba Stadium.

Even though Ndoro finished as Pirates’ top goal-scorer, he leaves with a sense of having under-achieved as he looked certain to win the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot last season after netting a hat-trick in the first game of the season.

But his goals, which came down like floods at first, dried up after he reached 11 in December.

The Buccaneers are in need of a consistent goal-scorer if they are to make amends for their miserable showing in the last campaign.

Thamsanqa Gabuza is the club’s main centre-forward, but in Nkosi and Kutumela, they have mobile attackers who can trouble defenders with their pace like Ndoro did.

But they will need to step up if they are to fill the void left by the Zimbabwean forward.

Kutumela and Nkosi made just 10 appearances combined in a tumultuous 2016/17 season.

The lack of opportunities to prove their way denied them an opportunity to stake their claim in the starting XI.

Ndoro’s departure and life under new coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic – which means that everyone starts on a clean slate – is a perfect set-up for the pair to prove their worth and show that they have what it takes to improve the Buccaneers’ attack. 

For Tuesday night’s Baroka game, though, Sredojevic went with Gabuza upfront.

Orlando Pirates XI

Wayne Sandilands, Gladwin Shitolo, Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Thabo Matlaba (captain), Innocent Maela, Abbubaker Mobara, Mpho Makola, Musa Nyatama, Luvuyo Memela, Thabo Qalinge, Thamsanqa Gabuza.

PSL Fixtures Tonight

7.30pm: Baroka FC v Orlando Pirates (Peter Mokaba Stadium), Mamelodi Sundowns v Polokwane City (Loftus Versfeld), Chippa United v AmaZulu (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium).


IOL Sport