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Zinnbauer refuses to point an accusing finger at Pirates goalkeeper Ofori after blunder

30 November 2020 - 11:48 By Marc Strydom
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer issues instructions to his Bucs charges.
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer issues instructions to his Bucs charges.
Image: Gavin Barker/BackPagePix/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has refused to point a finger at goalkeeper Richard Ofori for his error early in the second half that allowed Baroka FC to take the lead and put Bucs on the back foot in their 1-1 DStv Premiership draw on Saturday.

Ofori went up for a relatively innocuous free-kick from Nhlanhla Mgaga at Orlando Stadium and spilled it at the feet of substitute Ananias Gebhardt, who swept in the 47th-minute opener.

To be fair to Pirates’ Ghanaian goalkeeper, it was more a flat performance from Pirates that contributed to Bucs sharing the spoils.

The Soweto giants shaded the first half, but not convincingly. They were lethargic, failing to create the ratio of chances needed after conceding to get back into the game early and press for a win.

Substitute Tshegofatso Mabasa saved Pirates’ blushes, bundling over the 91st-minute equaliser.

Zinnbauer said conceding early in the second half allowed Baroka to sit back and play on the counterattack. But he refused to blame his keeper solely, saying the new signing from Maritzburg United had been impressive in his previous matches.

“Most times when a goalkeeper makes a mistake then you concede. But in our past games he was always there at the right moment, in the right situation, and he caught the ball – and today he lost the ball,” Zinnbauer said.

“But when a player makes a mistake and we concede, then that is so, and then we have to work for each other to still get the three points.

“We did this, and it was not enough for the three points, but enough for one point.

“It’s not a problem for me. If a goalkeeper saved and did very well in the past, and now he makes a mistake, it’s not normal, and it shouldn’t be, but we accept this.

“He works on this [taking the high ball], and it’s something he does well. But we cannot change the situation.

“If he had a good game, then we [would've] said, ‘Wow, good goalkeeper, he saved and took the crosses and he’s very stable.’ Now he makes a small mistake, and that’s what happened - and we work for each other, and the team fought for him.

“And, like I say, it was not enough, but it’s a point.”

Pirates, despite an off-day, are nestled healthily in third place (nine points from five games) as they meet Cape Town City next at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.