Orlando Pirates legend Jerry Sikhosana believes his former club didn’t play up to expectations on Saturday.
Pirates went to the game as favourites but were beaten 1-0 by archrivals Kaizer Chiefs on the weekend at FNB Stadium.
“Well, I think for me Pirates tried their best but it wasn’t enough to be honest,” Sikhosana reflected.
“Ja Pirates can do better than what they did, yes chances were there, they missed them, goalkeeping like from (Daniel) Akpeyi…because honestly for me, the pace of the game was not up to the standard that I know Pirates can play.
“They were really a bit slow – sluggish you know. I expected more of them in terms of the ball running and the lot of energy to bring into the game.”
Sikhosana admits that the favourites tag might have played to Pirates players’ minds leading to the game.
“I think that might be the factor because yes they were favourites but what I said last time was, in my derby experience most of the teams that triumph, it was like they were underdogs.
“Because I remember when we beat Chiefs 4-1 we were from a thumping by Real Rovers, and on that same Wednesday Real Rovers came over to Rand Stadium to play Chiefs they got five, and I believe Rovers beat us three in Polokwane.
“On the next weekend it was the derby, the Bob Save Super Bowl and as underdogs we beat Chiefs 4-1 (with Sikhosana scoring a hattrick). So it always happens you know.
“Derbies for me are unpredictable but I expected Pirates to win convincingly…but it wasn’t to be.”
Sikhosana added: “They didn’t bring the game to Chiefs as they normally do. Remember this is the Pirates under JZ (Josef Zinnbauer), their scoring rate is more higher in the first 45 minutes of the game.
“So when Chiefs scored that’s where I saw something wrong was gonna happen. Yes to me they play well, but I’m worried that the energy level that Pirates that normally brings in the game, it wasn’t there, maybe because as you say they were more favourites and they won the game before even they could even play.
“But I’m not lambasting the players, they did their best, created chances but it was more of the last ten, fifteen minutes of the game. That’s when we saw the real Pirates you know trying to get that goal.”
By Musa Nhlapo