Orlando Pirates head coach Vladimir Vermezovic says his team has regained their fighting spirit, after they clawed their way back from a goal down to beat SuperSport United on Sunday.
He admitted that the Pirates had lost some momentum during the recent Fifa breaks for international fixtures – which was compounded by the death of former captain Senzo Meyiwa – adding that he was delighted with their 2-1 victory in Atteridgeville.
“The spirit we had in the first part of the season, which we lost after the first Fifa break, has fortunately come back,” he said.
“It’s been a tough schedule, but we are professionals and we like to play every third day, and now we’re going to celebrate because the players deserve it. From tomorrow (Monday), we’re going to prepare for the next game.”
Thuso Phala put SuperSport in front in the 21st minute, but Issa Sarr equalised with less than 20 minutes remaining.
The hosts were reduced to 10 men in the closing stages, after Roscoe Pietersen was sent off for a second infringement, and Sifiso Myeni buried the winner in second-half injury time.
While Pirates climbed to fourth place in the Premiership standings, with their fifth win from 10 league matches this season, United continued to struggle in 10th position, after going down in their sixth defeat of the campaign.
SuperSport coach furious
SuperSport coach Gordon Igesund was furious with the referee’s lengthy additional time at the end of the match, with Myeni scoring five minutes after the end of regulation time.
“I think we were by far the better team throughout the game. For 90 minutes we controlled everything,” Igesund said.
“We missed a few chances, and we’ve got to put those away, but I don’t know where the six minutes of extra time came from. We had two minutes in the first half and six in the second, which makes it difficult when you’ve got your backs against the wall, and you’re down to 10 men.
“It’s disappointing because we played well and deserved more than we got, but that’s football for you.”
Eager to bounce back from the league defeat, Matsatsantsa will face Platinum Stars in the Telkom Knockout final at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
“Well done to Pirates,” Igesund said.
“Now we look forward to our next game, the cup final.” – Sapa