Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer admits winning the MTN8 final against Bloemfontein Celtic was a tough encounter as the Soweto giants ended a six-year trophy drought.
Siphelele Luthuli fired Celtic in front at the Moses Mabhida Stadium inside the opening five minutes, only for Deon Hotto to level matters just after the half-hour mark with his first-ever goal for the Soweto giants.
Substitute Thembinkosi Lorch converted from the penalty spot after the break as Celtic were reduced to ten men, and that proved to be the decider as Pirates comfortably saw out the remainder of the match to claim the MTN8 bragging rights with a 2-1 win.
Zinnbauer hailed the resilience of his team after falling behind inside three minutes in Durban.
“I think it was a difficult game. It’s not easy when you concede in the second minute or first minute, but we came back quickly,” Zinnbauer told SuperSport TV.
“We had a good first half, had chances. Second half we were in control … it was a team effort today.
“We had a little bit of luck in the last minute, Ofori made a good save. It was a good game. We have a title. We had a lot of different games and today we deserved to win this game.”
Zinnbauer also went on to praise the experience of midfielder Thabang Monare and Lorch, which saw the Buccaneers lift their first piece of silverware since 2014 when they won the Nedbank Cup.
“Monare is an experienced player and we wanted his experience. Lorch came in and brought more offence into the game. I hope Monare doesn’t have such a serious problem with his knee,” said Zinnbauer.
“I’ve learnt a lot since being here. It’s a good experience for both me and the team. We are happy. We have a title. It’s important for us and the supporters.
“They were so hungry for a title and I think nine years ago we last won the MTN8 and now we have done it again. This is for my son, Fabio. I thank God for this game, but I hope you give me my son back.”
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— Orlando Pirates FC (@orlandopirates) December 12, 2020
– Compiled by Sport24 staff