Orlando Pirates’ tactics questioned by former Bafana Bafana duo Booth and Mahlangu
The Brazilians’ victory enabled them to climb back above AmaZulu at the top of the standings while the Buccaneers are now 12 points off the summit
Both Matthew Booth and Jabu Mahlangu had reservations about the way the Orlando Pirates side was set up in their 3-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
Pirates had managed to hold Sundowns in the first half and the score was locked at 0-0 at the interval.
But once the Brazilians netted in the 57th minute, through a Ricardo Nascimento penalty, it always looked like there was going to be only one winner and that was the case as Peter Shalulile and Lyle Lakay added to the tally.
“I’m pretty sure that AmaZulu and Arrows are going to be pretty disappointed in the way that Pirates almost threw in the towel as soon as they conceded that penalty,” Booth said after the game while commenting in the SuperSport TV studio.
“It was disappointing that there wasn’t more character shown from the team to try and fight back.
“When you look at video analysis, you look at your last three or four games, the opponents who played against Sundowns.
“And you would have picked up an obvious trend of the press. The way that Sundowns go and press with so much energy, at the right moments,” the former Sundowns, Ajax Cape Town and Cape Town Spurs defender explained.
“There wasn’t one period of the game where I saw Pirates press high up, or try put any sort of pressure on Sundowns.
“First half, sure, they set a deep defensive block, no problem with that. But then there’s got to be periods of the game, especially when you are 1-0 down, when you put a certain amount of pressure eon your opposition.
“You can’t just allow them to play out from the back and into the pockets in and around you and often behind you. That’s not going to be good enough and they paid the price.”
Adding to the discussion, former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana midfielder Mahlangu (formerly Pule) also noted Pirates’ reluctance to use an out-and-out striker – both Tshegofatso Mabasa and Gabadinho Mhango started on the bench and it was left to attacking midfielders Vincent Pule and Deon Hotto to provide the presence up front.
“With [Sundowns central defenders] Nascimento and [Mosa] Lebusa there, you can’t have midfielders [pressing them]. These guys start the moves from the back. If you had Mabasa, at least it would unsettle them from the back,” Mahlangu said.