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Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi stands by Thembinkosi Lorch

Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match against Chippa United at Orlando Stadium, in Soweto on 27 April 2022. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2021/22 match against Chippa United at Orlando Stadium, in Soweto on 27 April 2022. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published May 25, 2022

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Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has stood by attacker Thembinkosi Lorch after he missed a penalty in the Sea Robbers 5-4 penalty shootout loss against RSB Berkane in the Caf Confederation Cup final at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Nigeria last week.

The penalty miss from Lorch resulted in Pirates losing the game as he was their only player to miss from the spot.

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“We have to be psychologists at times and be honest and realistic. Lorch did not play badly in that match. All professional players miss penalties,” said Ncikazi.

“Normally we practice penalties. He was on the list of penalty takers because he does well in training. We cannot punish or penalise him because of the miss. I thought we should have not lost that game because of the amount of chances that we created but football can go like that sometimes.”

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Even though Pirates have not won any silverware this season, they can potentially still end their season on a high by claiming second spot in the league which would qualify them for next season’s Caf Champions League.

While most teams in the league have concluded their seasons, the Sea Robbers still have two outstanding fixtures. They travel to Chatsworth in Durban to play against Royal AM on Friday before concluding their league season with an away fixture against SuperSport United.

The deficit between themselves and second place Cape Town City is six points. Should Pirates win their two remaining fixtures, they can usurp City on goal difference to second place in the league.

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