May 16, 2021

Enyimba was a good experience for Orlando Pirates’ youngsters – Zinnbauer

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Not minding the defeat against the two-time African champions in Aba, the Bucs’ handler has taken home positives for the ‘tough’ clash

Playing Enyimba was a good experience for Orlando Pirates youngsters, according to coach Josef Zinnbauer.

Although their intention was to earn a draw in Nigeria, however, Cyril Olisema’s last-gasp effort handed the South Africans a 1-0 defeat in the last Group A Caf Confederation Cup fixture.

With Thembinkosi Lorch, Zakhele Lepasa, Jean-Marc Makusu and some key players out injured, the game against the Peoples’ Elephant was a chance for Thabiso Monyane and Thabiso Sesane to prove their worth.

Thankfully, the duo impressed the tactician who felt his team came to Nigeria with the ambition of earning at least a draw.

“We have to keep fighting. It was a good experience for our young players,” coach Zinnbauer stated during the post-match conference.

“We had a lot of young boys on the field today, especially as substitutes. Monyane and Sesane came in the second half – these players who are 17, 18, 19 years old.

“So, it’s a good experience for these players. We need these players and they can give us options when we have injury worries.

“I am not happy with the result, but the performance was good. A draw was the target, but we lost the game at the last minute.”

“It was a fair game, we lost it and that can be. Congratulations to Enyimba, congratulations to us for qualifying but it was a tough game for us,” he continued.

“I think we had a good start having the first chance but could not score. In the second half, we got more and more pressure, but we changed our tactics and relied more on the counter-attack.

“The pressure on us was normal because we played an opponent who wanted to qualify. We got some chances. We played on the artificial turf but that is not an excuse.”

Thanks to this result, Enyimba finished as group winners while Bucs slipped into the second spot on the head-to-head rule, although both will take their place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

Orlando Pirates continue their PSL campaign with a home fixture on Sunday against league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns.

After amassing 39 points from 23 outings so far in the 2020-21 campaign, they occupy the fourth position although two games are outstanding.

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