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Orlando Pirates Vs Esperance – Do or Die!!!

Written By Themba Khumalo on Friday, October 4, 2013 | Friday, October 04, 2013

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

In the quest to conquer Africa, The Mighty Bucs will host Group B winners, Esperance, at Orlando Stadium this coming weekend. The 1995 African Champions are still licking wounds after suffering a gruesome defeat at the hands of Platinum Stars in the final of the MTN8. Orlando Pirates need to pick themselves up and fight till the end. There are areas of concerns though:

1. Defense: Pirates defense has been solid at times but they continuously fail to deal with set pieces which raises eyebrows because those are basics. Senzo Meyiwa has done well in the goalkeeping department despite being marred by schoolboy errors at times. Rooi Mahamutsa has become Mr. reliable in that heart of defense. Siyabonga Sangweni and Captain Lucky Lekgwathi are also giving the coach headaches as both are also competing for the other spot in the heart of defense which is good for the team. Patrick Phungwayo was very unfortunate to suffer that injury as he was giving a healthy competition to Thabo Matlaba on the left back. The right back remains without competition and this is not good as Happy Jele becomes an obvious choice. What Happens when he's booked or injured?

2. The Engine Room: This is where games are lost and won and the sudden rise to fame of Lehlogonolo Masalesa has provided us with a different approach where we see quick ball being released to the man on attack. I'm tired of the Andile Jali way of playing where we keep possession without posing a real threat to the opposition. Oupa Manyisa is working tirelessly and that's where our play is made. On the wings we are health with Tlou Segolela and Diane Klate. Tlou needs to focus in his game and forget about the glitters of Jozi. The boy was caught in bed with another gal by his other girlfriend and that may ruin his career... he needs to stay focused.

3. Attack: Sifiso Myeni is an Ace up the Sleeve I'm worried about him failing fitness test ahead of the final. Thulasizwe Mbuyane had a nightmare game against Al Ahly but I know he is capable of bouncing back n do the damage. Ndumiso Mabena needs to consult an inyanga… he needs a miracle to recover from the post MTN8 final abuse. Lennox Bacela's shoulders aren't so broad to carry the load… he needs assistance. He is a good striker but cannot be effective if he has to move away from the box to get the ball. We look good without Collins Mbesuma Upfront but we need his experience at this stage.

The Stage is too big for William Twala and Joseph Malangoane but they need to prove their worth in the team. I'm Still wondering what happened to Mpho Makola and Khethokwakhe Masuku as they were promising towards the end of last season only to be dropped upon the arrival of Twala and Malangoane who are yet to prove themselves.

The Ghost: The team needs the Ghost more than ever... The Ghost must fill the stadium to the rafters and lift the boys high… sing until you lose your voices.

The Technical Team: They know what to do...they know what’s at stake and they must ensure we kill the game at home. Teboho Moloi must stop running his mouth like a high school boy.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Up The Bucs!!!

By Philani Madonsela

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