“The first half was very good”

Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena insisted that his side, who were a man down just five minutes into the second half of their Soweto Derby Telkom Knockout quarter-final clash away to Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday, were “tactically superior”.

In the end, the Buccaneers were dumped out of the cup on penalties having gallantly fought and held Amakhosi to a 2-2 draw after extra-time.

Mokwena, as he has often done since taking over the reins at Pirates three months ago, looked for positives rather wallow in defeat.

“The first half was very good, complete dominance and unbelievably tactically superior and managed a lot of threats we knew would come against Chiefs. They are a very awkward team to deal with because they mix between building from the back and utilizing their strength with the two strikers,” he told reporters after the game.  

“We knew we would also deal with the long balls to Castro and Nurkovic. It’s a first half where we were in complete control, going into the break 1-0 up.”

Mokwena had also sent social media into frenzy with his remarks on television that watching Pirates battle their way during the derby even with a man short was akin to watching a beautiful painting – words he reiterated in his post-match with the press.

“I was saying I felt like Pablo Picasso because if you love football, you just cannot admire the Orlando Pirates players – they were unbelievable,” he explained.

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