Trips to Milpark Stadium have been a pain to Orlando Pirates for over half a decade but, under the watch of Serbian mentor Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic, the Buccaneers finally had some joy at the venue as they claimed three vital points there to top the PSL log.
With Mamelodi Sundowns – who occupied the summit of the PSL table ahead of Saturday’s encounter – away on continental duty, the Soweto giants grabbed a last-gasp 1-0 victory against the 2016/17 league champions to leapfrog their Tshwane giants.
The result was their first positive outcome in league action at the venue since 2013, and it wasn’t without a bit of good fortune as it came via the head of a Wits player in Keegan Ritchie, whose header turned the ball goalward after the host’s defence had held firm for over 90 minutes.
Despite the luck that went towards ensuring a crucial victory, the Pirates coach was happy to reveal the tactics that went behind grabbing maximum points, barely a week after a dominant performance only ensured a share of the spoils against Sundowns.
“We started very badly, but then we reshuffled and set Musa Nyatama between our two defenders providing that we have three, we have wing backs and providing that the two strikers will come to our defensive midfielders and from then on it was like two boxers trying to outmatch each other.
“It could have gone either way. I give credit to the opponent and we fought on both sides, there have been chances and one moment decides it – I am happy,” added the manager.
“Same like in the preview of the match, we said one moment will decide the match. That moment has gone on our side in order to pay us back for those eleven draws because many times we have been close to winning here, football Gods gave us this.
“But we are not carried away, our feet are firmly on the ground, fully aware that all this is not valid if we are not focusing on the Wednesday game against Black Leopards.
“Emotions must be calm and I believe this will be a good injection of motivation to our players, technical team, to our management and the supporters that we enter the last five games all-out focusing match by match and the first match is Black Leopards.”
Pirates now turn their attention to Black Leopards, who visit Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night for a league clash that was originally scheduled for the end of April.
Kick off is at 19:30.