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Zinnbauer happy with Pirates star's display against Chiefs: 'Lorch‚ yeah‚ I mean top game'

02 November 2020 - 14:41 By Marc Strydom
Thembinkosi Lorch dished out a man of the match performance in his first start of the season for Orlando Pirates.
Thembinkosi Lorch dished out a man of the match performance in his first start of the season for Orlando Pirates.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Thembinkosi Lorch had a "top game"‚ said Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer after the forward got a first start of the season and was man-of-the-match as Bucs dominated Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in Saturday's first leg of their MTN8 semifinal on Saturday.

Lorch made a return to Pirates' starting line-up at Orlando Stadium having previously come off the bench once at half time in Bucs' 1-1 league draw against AmaZulu in Durban last weekend.

His presence and all-round display‚ including smashing in the 81st minute third goal and playing a role in the first two‚ appeared to provide the spark that had been lacking as the Buccaneers' big-signing engine had previously spluttered unconvincingly in 2020-21.

Zinnbauer‚ who had to leave from the game straight to OR Tambo International Airport to fly back to Germany‚ where his son is in hospital‚ was full of praise for Lorch.

"Lorch‚ yeah‚ I mean top game. It was very important for us his participation on the field‚" Zinnbauer said afterwards.

"Yeah‚ when he gets more conditioning and more practise‚ and more and more games I know what he can do."

It is unclear whether Lorch's lack of game time previously was partly due to off-field problems of an assault case.

Pirates had previously beaten 10-man Cape Town City 1-0 in the MTN8 quarterfinals‚ and in the league drawn with Usuthu‚ and on Wednesday drew 1-1 at Orlando against tough Stellenbosch FC.

They probably shared dominance of the first half‚ but scored the crucial goal. Pirates grew in strength in the second half.

"I think both teams tried to score‚ and in the first half both teams had good chances to score‚" Zinnbauer said.

"But we were the first team [to score] and it's always an advantage for us‚ it was good for us.

"And then we got‚ minute-to-minute‚ more and more in the game‚ and then we switched a little bit more to counterattacks and we did this very‚ very well in this game.

"And yeah‚ I think it's a clear win for us and I'm happy about this."

Bucs meet Bloemfontein Celtic at Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday‚ and Chiefs in the semi-final second leg at FNB Stadium on Sunday‚ where assistant-coach Fadlu Davids may take charge should Zinnbauer not have returned in time.