Schoolboy error cost us – De Sa
Heading for their third successive 1-0 win at Orlando Stadium, Pirates committed a schoolboy error which cost them victory, said coach Roger de Sa.
Pirates had taken the lead in the 78th minute, in their Premiership clash against Bloemfontein Celtic yesterday, through a perfectly taken Tlou Segolela goal, before they allowed a long throw-in to bounce in the area, gifting Celtic the equaliser.
“They got the ball in the box for the first time in the second half and we conceded a very soft goal,” said De Sa after the game.
“You can’t let the ball bounce twice in the area – it was a schoolboy error – and it’s something we have practised.”
De Sa said the Free State side had employed a different strategy from that which he had expected and they were caught on the hop in the beginning.
“We were a little surprised Celtic came out at us like they did, with the high press, but we coped with that pretty well.
“We played like the home team and we edged Celtic throughout. I thought we had done enough to get the win and I don’t think Senzo Meyiwa had to make a save throughout the second half.”
Meanwhile, Celtic coach Clinton Larsen said the encounter had gone according to plan.
“The match panned out exactly as expected. We thought it would be a tough game as we knew Roger would have them fired up after their losses against Swallows and Maluti,” said Larsen.
“Defensively we were well organised and it took a moment of lack of concentration from our defender to let Tlou in.”
Larsen said he was pleased with the character shown by his troops, who equalised in added time.
“It’s something we’ve instilled in these players – to never give up.
“Fortunately we are in position where there are a number of senior players and these quality players are the backbone of this team.”
The draw left Pirates five points behind table-topping Kaizer Chiefs ahead of the Soweto derby on Saturday. The Buccaneers do, however, have a game in hand over AmaKhosi and, with the derby on the weekend, Pirates control their own destiny.
“It’s still in our hands – if we win all our games we win the league. It’s something we’ve spoken about as a team,” said De Sa.
“I know a game in hand doesn’t mean much, but we have to stay focused – 63, 64 points will be our target.”
In other league encounters yesterday, Kaizer Chiefs moved further ahead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win over Chippa United at Athlone Stadium. Chippa, with the loss, remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the table on 16 points after 21 games.
Wits came back from a goal behind to win 2-1 against Maritzburg United at Bidvest Stadium and AmaZulu beat Platinum Stars 1-0 at Moses Mabhida Stadium. The loss leaves Stars on 38 points, eight behind Chiefs.
Black Leopards beat Golden Arrows 2-1 at Old Peter Mokaba Stadium, University of Pretoria played to a goalless draw with Ajax Cape Town at Tuks Stadium.
On Tuesday, Moroka Swallows beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 at Loftus Stadium, while Free State Stars drew 1-1 with SuperSport United at Charles Mopeli Stadium. It was SuperSport’s 13th draw of their league campaign.