The Sea Robbers and the Brazilians both still have three trophies to play for, though it’s the Pretoria outfit who appear the better balanced side
Former Orlando Pirates and Bafana Bafana defender Edward Motale believes his old team plays more attractive football but lacks Mamelodi Sundowns’ clinical touch in front of goal.
Motale was commenting ahead of Pirates’ Caf Confederation Cup clash against Al Ahli Benghazi at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
His thoughts are, however, also relevant in the context of next Thursday’s Nedbank Cup quarter-final clash between Pirates and Sundowns.
The former national team defender, a Caf Champions League winner with the Sea Robbers in 1995, says he’s impressed by the quality in the Bucs squad but is concerned that something is lacking upfront:
“Pirates have an amazing squad and the difference between them and Mamelodi Sundowns locally is that they score few goals, while Sundowns are lethal in front of goal and do not play beautiful football. The interchange and passing of the Pirates players are the best,” Motale told the Sowetan.
“However, my biggest concern about them is scoring,” he continued, “the decision-making in the final third of the field is letting them down.
“We play good football but the problem is the scoring part. The defence is OK, but up front is not. The Pirates of today miss many chances and make the wrong decisions. If they can work on that they will win lots of games, starting on Sunday.”
Pirates and Al Ahli Benghazi met last weekend in Libya at the Martyrs of February Stadium where they played to a 0-0 draw.
Bucs striker Gabadinho Mhango was especially guilty of some missed chances. Mhango has struggled for form and fitness this season while fellow forwards Zakhele Lepasa and Tshegofatso Mabasa have also spent lengthy spells sidelined with injury.
Two of the new forward signings this season, Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele and Terrence Dzvukamanja, have also for the most part failed to impress and have scored just two goals between them.
After three games in Group A, Nigerian side Enyimba are top with six points, followed by Pirates with five points. Al Ahli have four points and ES Setif from Tunisia have just a single point.