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Orlando Pirates defender Xoki blames the wind for Sekhukhune United defeat

17:57 GMT+3 05/10/2022
Tapelo Xoki, Orlando Pirates, September 2022
Orlando Pirates centre-back Tapelo Xoki has blamed wind conditions in Polokwane following Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to Sekhukhune United.
  • The Buccaneers suffered their third league defeat of the campaign
  • Missed opportunity to close the gap on Sundowns
  • Have now dropped to fourth-spot

WHAT HAPPENED? The Buccaneers succumbed to their third defeat of the season in nine Premier Soccer League games. Late goals from Babina Noko substitute Elias Mokwana and Vusimuzi Mncube who profited from a howler by Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori denied Pirates maximum points. Xoki started in place of Olisa Ndah who was suspended for the game and the defender feels they were undone by unfavourable weather conditions.

WHAT THEY SAID: “It is a tough one to take, we didn’t play our best game,” Xoki told Pirates’ media. “The conditions played a part, we struggled to deal with the wind. We couldn’t cope in terms of trying to adjust. But we gave it our all, we fought even with 10-man. We still kept the ball, we still kept pushing forward.

“Unfortunately they gave us a sucker punch in the 84th minute, but it is now done and dusted, we have to focus on our next game on Saturday.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It was a missed opportunity by the Buccaneers to close the gap between them and log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns. After arriving in Limpopo five points behind Masandawana, Pirates failed to get two points closer to Sundowns. Following the loss, they slid down the table to position four.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR PIRATES? Pirates are now preparing to host Richards Bay in their next league game on Saturday. They will be facing a team they surrendered second position to. Coach Jose Riveiro and his men cannot afford to lose as they bid to end a long wait for the league title.