Krol gets it right again
Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol pulled no punches with his half-time team talk and managed to inspire Bucs to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Platinum Stars in a closely fought Absa Premiership showdown at the Johannesburg Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was an 84th-minute goal from Thulasizwe Mbuyane that earned Bucs their three valuable points and boosted the sprits in the camp ahead of Saturday’s Soweto Derby against Kaizer Chiefs at the Mafikeng Stadium.
Bucs looked like they were sleepwalking through a disappointing first 45 minutes and Krol admitted afterwards he had to speak strongly to his players at the break.
Said the former Dutch international captain: “We were not playing well in the first half. We were too slow and getting to the ball late. I was not satisfied and told my players to get back out there and show the form we displayed when we beat Moroka Swallows in the Telkom Knockout, and thankfully we improved in the second half and managed to score the only goal and win the game, which is another important three points for us.”
The Buccaneers beat the Birds 3-2 in a pulsating Knockout quarterfinal played in Rustenburg last weekend.
With the Soweto Derby against Chiefs looming in Mmabatho on Saturday, this win was just what the doctor ordered for Krol and his Buccaneers.
What has pleased Krol is his side have now won their second league game and are now on nine points from seven matches played and stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to six games.
But the win was at a cost for Pirates, who lost first-choice keeper Moeneeb Josephs in the 15th minute with suspected broken nose and a cut eye after he bravely dived to prevent Stars midfielder Tshepo Ramokala from scoring.
Said Krol: “I am not sure at this stage how serious the injury is. We hope it is not too serious but at this stage he is obviously doubtful for Saturday’s derby.”
Stars coach Miguel Gamondi reckoned Pirates where there for the taking. “I thought we deserved something from the game. We were on top in the first half. But we lost concentration late in the game and allowed Pirates to score.
“We came here for three points and I am disappointed to go home empty handed. But I have no complaints except for conceding that goal. I told my players I was happy with their performance, but also told them they had better start finding the back of the net.”
In other matches played on Wednesday night, Chiefs beat SuperSport 1-0, Wits beat Maritzburg United 4-1, Santos and Sundowns drew 0-0, Thanda Royal Zulu beat Bay United 2-1 and Swallows beat Free State Stars 2-1.—Sapa