His side was lucky against a “good and energetic” EC Bees outfit in their 3-1 Nedbank Cup last-32 game victory at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane on Sunday, Orlando Pirates coach Kjell Jonevret said.
Little separated the Premier Soccer League team from their ABC Motsepe League opponents in front of a packed crowd at the NU2 venue.
The hard-fought win effectively ended the Buccaneers’ 12-match winless streak and gave Jonevret his first win in four matches since taking over the Pirates helm.
The Swede was relieved at getting his first win in charge of the “Happy People” and admitted that Bees gave them a run for their money.
“They were good and had a lot of energy. This team is a lesser team with a lot of talent.
“But I’m happy we won this one. We are still in the cup.
“I said before the game that I’m always a little afraid of [playing against lower-league teams] but we were a little better in the end,” Jonevret said.
The Swedish mentor bemoaned poor defending that led to Bees’ leading goal-scorer, Bongani Chikila, scoring while two defenders were breathing down his neck.
“We gave them a goal, a pretty simple one. After that, they had a lot of energy and they ran and ran and the audience was there and screaming.
“It looked a little bit like panic in our team, I think.
“[But] it was a fantastic atmosphere with all the fans. Wow, it was fantastic for me to see, so I’m happy.”
Jonevret said Lady Luck was on their side and he hoped that would be the case until the end of the Ke Yona cup.
“You need a little luck in football and maybe that little luck can help us to turn things around and start winning more games – it’s fun to win.”
Asked if he thought the way his side played would be enough for them to go all the way and lift the trophy, he said they were in it to win it.
“As long as you’re in the cup you have a chance to win, definitely, but this season so far so many teams in the PSL have been better than us.
“But since we started working, we’re still undefeated both in the league and the cup. We are happy today but of course we have to be better if we want to play the cup final at the end of June,” he said.
The Nedbank Cup is the only silverware that Pirates are still in the running for as they do not stand a chance of winning the league.
The coach agreed that Ke Yona offered them a bit of redemption as they look to avoid ending the season emptyhanded.
“There are still a lot of good teams left so we have to be a little lucky but definitely there could be a chance for Orlando Pirates to win something this season,” he said.
“Of course, we’re going to go 100% in the cup as long as possible. At least we won this one and we’re still in the cup – that was the most important thing today [Sunday].”
Pirates’ next league game is on April 1 against Free State Stars.