Milutin Sredojevic disappointed as Orlando Pirates fail to turn dominance into goals

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Clayton Daniels' second half goal handed Matsatsantsa a narrow victory over Bucs, who saw their 15-match unbeaten league run come to an end

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic cut a disappointed figure after his charges failed to turn their dominance into goals against SuperSport United on Wednesday night.

The Buccaneers succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Matsatsantsa in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match which was played at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

“It’s not pleasant to come in front of you. We had a plan to dominate possession, control the space, control the numbers. In the first half, we had so many possession turnovers from the players that were banking they were going to control the game,” Sredojevic told SuperSport TV.

“From those turnovers, the opponent opened some counter-attacks. At halftime, we had agreed to correct that and not allow it to happen. In the first half, it was like the weight of expectations and anxiety brought us to make mistakes that are not natural. It looked like we were too much under stress in any way,” he continued.

“At half-time, we relaxed the situation and put on a team to play the way we know how to play - to control. Unfortunately, in a moment where we wanted to bring on the right player for (Abbubaker) Mobara, who was on a yellow card - [Asavela] Mbekile we conceded the corner-kick," he added.

Micho explained that it was a setback for Bucs, who remained third on the league standings - four points behind log leaders Bidvest Wits with 10 matches left.

“And at that moment [after conceding the goal] we brought on players to affect the game, [Luvuyo] Memela, Thamsanqa Gabuza and Mpho Makola. They helped us to go and attack on all cylinders. If we had scored on that penalty it would have changed the whole complexion of the game completely. However, we tried under difficult circumstances. I want to call this a setback," he said.

“Football is very hard to predict, you can plan for everything. We planned from the beginning to play that way but it seemed like we needed a snake to bite us, concede a goal and then start to play the way we were supposed to play from the start," Sredojevic indicated.

The Buccaneers will be hoping to cut Wits' lead at the top when they play host to AmaZulu FC at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.

"If we played like that from the start probably that corner-kick would not come, dominate throughout. However, we need to pick up the pieces, look at what went wrong and bounce back on Saturday against AmaZulu," he explained.

“Very disappointed, in any way the efforts of the players did not match the outcome of the match. We believe we have out-played the opponent but we were outscored by the goal that was a moment of lapse in concentration,” he concluded.

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