Orlando Pirates fires warning to premiership title rivals
Orlando Pirates' superb opening 30 minutes dismantling Baroka FC for three goals in an eventual 3-1 Absa Premiership win at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night are the benchmark‚ and Bucs will aim to extend such phases going forward‚ coach Milutin Sredojevic has said.
A rampant Pirates scored through Musa Nyatama's header in the sixth minute‚ Luvuyo Memela adding two strikes from excellently-crafted buildups in the 19th and 28th.
A penalty conceded‚ which Mduduzi Mdatsane scored from in the 30th‚ took some wind out of Bucs' sails.
But the end result was Pirates' first home victory since a 1-0 win against Cape Town City at FNB Stadium on September 19.
Sredojevic said a regroup in the Christmas break had played a role in Bucs coming back strong in their first game of 2018.
"If our conversion rate was better so many matches would finish like this.
"We had eight draws‚ and those eight draws - just today we were talking in preparation - out of those eight at least six were supposed to be sitters for us to win‚" Bucs' coach said.
"Then we would talk a totally different story. However‚ for whatever has been wrong‚ we could not cry.
"We went on the break disappointed. But we went to refresh physically and mentally.
"We resumed training on December 27‚ before the new year‚ working very hard‚ coming back with a good working week.
"And that good working week has been documented in our identity‚ and got a stamp with this win.
"We had a very good first 30 minutes‚ starting like a house on fire.
"Once more the game of football has shown that in these critical phases you need to keep concentration in the next two to three minutes.
"Because when we scored the third goal‚ not more than one minute later we conceded a penalty against the run of play.
"And this brought us back to the situation where we have not been so adventurous after.
"In the second half we wanted to finish the match in a way that we do not defend by defending.
"That we defend by possessing the ball‚ firstly. And secondly by pushing the opponents out as far as possible.
"And looking to score that fourth goal that could kill the game. We didn't succeed in scoring.
"The 30 minutes are the benchmark that we are looking for. Can we extend more - to 45‚ to 60‚ going to 90? This is a process - we are a work in progress."
Pirates moved from eighth to fifth place with the win.
Bucs next meet leaders Mamelodi Sundowns - 3-2 away losers against Polokwane City on Saturday - at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.