Gordon Igesund: Orlando Pirates cannot afford to draw against Bidvest Wits

Lebohang Maboe, Sundowns & Happy Jele, Orlando Pirates, April 2019
Igesund, who won the PSL trophy with both Sundowns and Pirates, discussed the title race when speaking to Goal

Premier Soccer League (PSL) winning coach Gordon Igesund believes that this season's PSL title race will go down to the wire following the 0-0 draw between both Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in Soweto on Monday.

The draw saw Bucs climb up to second spot on the league standings - three points behind the leaders, Sundowns with six games left.

 “Look, I think a draw favoured Sundowns. Pirates had to win that match to close the gap and to put pressure on Sundowns,” Igesund told Goal.

Pirates will now take on third-placed Bidvest Wits in their next league game on Saturday.

“You know a win would have opened a number of possibilities especially before their match against (Bidvest) Wits, obviously they don’t want pressure going to Wits, but it’s still an open race,” he added.

“Yes, Sundowns wanted a win, but a draw is still a good result for them because the only thing Pitso |(Mosimane) wanted to avoid was a defeat. However, I think a win would have made things easier for them going to the last few games,” said the former Bafana Bafana mentor.

“For Pirates, if they had won, that would have been a huge boost for them, but I think a draw is not a bad result either," he responded.

“Look, going to Wits is exactly the same scenario they faced on Monday against Sundowns. They need to avoid a loss and it is not going to be easy against Wits, who will want to stay in the title race after losing in the Nedbank Cup,” he continued.

“Both of them will want maximum points and I think Pirates can win the game. The team that wins will make things more difficult for Sundowns in terms of pressure,” he noted.

“I’m saying this because Sundowns will not want to see Pirates or Wits winning because they will share the top spot on 44 points. In my view, they will want a draw from the game between Pirates and Wits,” said ‘GI’.

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“The remaining games involving are against teams which are fighting relegation and they can still have a say in the title race,” he added.

“Pirates are still left with Maritzburg United, Free State Stars and these are the games we need to also look at because they will not be easy matches,” reacted the coach.

“Yes, the top of the table clashes are interesting for everyone in the country, but we must also remember that the teams at the bottom have something to fight for and will not entertain the title race. So, consistency will be crucial for the top three teams and for now the race is still open,” he concluded.