Buccaneers on the up after new coach rings changes
There is more room for improvement but Sredojevic may have found some answers
There's hope for Orlando Pirates after their impressive display against Chippa United on Saturday.
It's understandable that the Bucs faithful didn't turn up in big numbers thanks to the team's disastrous last campaign that saw them finish outside the top eight for the first time in the Premier Soccer League-era. And it didn't help that it was very cold.
Pirates' performance, however, could have warmed many hearts especially in the first half as they dictated terms.
Led by new skipper Thabo "Festival" Matlaba, the Buccaneers showed their intentions from the first whistle.
Their four debutants, Wayne Sandilands, Thamsanqa Sangweni, Innocent Maela and Musa Nyatama, fitted in well.
Nyatama's good through ball to midfielder Mpho Makola could have led to an early goal but Brighton Mhlongo, in goal, made a great stop to deny his former teammate.New Pirates coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic rang the changes.
In defence, Sredojevic opted for Ntsikelelo Nyauza, a natural rightback, and Gladwin Shitolo, who is more comfortable in central midfield, as his centre-back pair.
Bucs looked solid in defence and Chippa rarely created a chance against them except after half an hour when Sangweni made a defensive blunder.
Chippa striker Moeketsi Sekola intercepted Sangweni's back pass, but Sandilands was alert and came off his line to save.
Upfront, it took a while for the likes of Thamsanqa Gabuza to get going but his header from a Maela cross had the beating of Mhlongo with half time approaching.The Chilli Boys fought hard for an equaliser against a Pirates side now sitting back.
Chippa seized the opportunity and started to dominate. Sredojevic responded by introducing Luvuyo Memela for Nyatama, but Chippa maintained their momentum.
Sandilands was called into action with 10 minutes left when he saved Sekola's glancing header.
Pirates were defending too deep but their defensive frailties may be a thing of the past.