Draw means Bucs still 14 points adrift

THAT'S MINE:  Kaizer Chiefs' Siphiwe Tshabalala and Orlando Pirates' Issa Sarr   during their Absa Premiership match  at the FNB Stadium in Soweto at the weekend Picture: GALLO IMAGES -
THAT’S MINE: Kaizer Chiefs’ Siphiwe Tshabalala and Orlando Pirates’ Issa Sarr during their Absa Premiership match at the FNB Stadium in Soweto at the weekend Picture: GALLO IMAGES –

Derby stalemate leaves Tinkler frustrated

ORLANDO Pirates caretaker coach Eric Tinkler bemoaned his side’s decision-making in the final third as fourth-placed Bucs failed to make any ground on Absa Premiership leaders Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

The Soweto giants clashed at the FNB Stadium in a game where goalkeepers were not tested and supporters went wild for tricks and flicks that did not benefit their teams in any way, shape or form.

Bucs dominated play in the first half but had nothing to show for it, not even testing Amakhosi goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune. Not that Amakhosi were any better.

The second period was a bit better as the sides tried to push for a winner, but the game was not, in any sense of the term, a classic as it finished goalless.

AHowever, Tinkler and his Chiefs counterpart, Stuart Baxter, seem to believe it was a great display of football.

“We came here to try to collect three points. We had a little more to lose getting one point because we do not gain any ground on Chiefs,” Tinkler said after the clash.

“I thought we were very good in the first half. We controlled the ball very well, we got into threatening areas. It was just our final pass and decision-making in the final third that less us down.

“They came at us a lot more in the second half, which caused us a lot of problems. When they came at us it opened up the game and it made it end to end. I don’t think any player held back today.”

Pirates, who are 14 points behind Amakhosi, have been more of a threat going forward, with two men up front, since Tinkler took over. However, the interim boss chose to go with a lone striker on Saturday.

Lehlohonolo Majoro started alone up front and Chiefs defenders were not troubled at all by their former teammate. Tinkler took Majoro off after an hour and brought on Kermit Erasmus, who was not any better against Amakhosi’s twin towers at the back: Eric Mathoho and Tefu Mashamaite.

“The thinking behind playing the one striker was because of the opposition. We couldn’t afford to be crowded in the middle. We needed to match them,” Tinkler said.

Meanwhile, South African youngster Rushine de Reuck has been given longer to earn a professional contract at Portuguese top-flight side Pacos de Ferreira.

The 18-year-old was due to return to Cape Town in January, but has been asked to stay until the end of the season while the Portuguese side make a decision on the central defender.

De Reuck and midfielder Andisiwe Mtsila had trials with top Portuguese side FC Porto and Pacos de Ferreira at the start of the season, with the latter club showing interest in both.

De Reuck was asked to stay on, initially until January, and play for the club’s under-19 side with the hope of impressing the team’s first team coaches.

He impressed enough to have his time in Portugal extended to the end of the campaign.

De Reuck is a graduate of the ASD Academy that also produced Bafana Bafana winger Ayanda Patosi and highly rated rightback Ethen Sampson, who now ply their trade at Lokeren in Belgium and Vancouver Whitecaps in the USA’s Major League Soccer respectively.

Mtsila has since joined the Kaizer Chiefs reserve side until the end of the season.

-Tshepang Mailwane

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