Milutin Sredojevic unhappy with Orlando Pirates defence after MTN8 Cup exit

Bucs were eliminated from the lucrative competition after losing to the defending champions

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic was left to rue his side’s missed chances following their encounter with SuperSport United on Saturday night.

The Buccaneers were eliminated from this year’s MTN8 Cup after losing 4-3 on penalties to Matsatsantsa following a 2-2 stalemate at the Mecca of South African football, Orlando Stadium.

Augustine Mulenga handed Pirates an early lead, but Dean Furman levelled matters for SuperSport, who then took the lead through Evans Rusike.

However, the match ended in a draw after Gladwin Shitolo grabbed an equalizer for Bucs.

The Serbian coach, who is expected to win at least one major trophy this season, was unhappy with how his charges defended on the night.

“First of all, we started the game very well. Scored that goal and then in a short period of time, we conceded,” Sredojevic told SuperSport TV.

“We came back strongly, played much better. Had that chance to win it in regulation time with a penalty, it did not happen," he said.

“Usually teams that miss chances like that one is mentally down. It looked like we were going to penalties. We missed those penalties, opponents scored and they won,” he continued.

SuperSport goalkeeper Ronwen Williams denied Pirates full-back Innocent Maela during the penalty shootout, while Thembinkosi Lorch missed his spot-kick. 

“Penalties are a lottery. Football has once more shown to us, something that is the truth, football is not what you deserve but what you get,” Sredojevic said.

“If it is about deserving, I believe with all the domination we had we were supposed to win today’s game but we didn’t. We need to accept this, pick up the pieces and go back to the drawing board and continue working,” he added.

Matsatsantsa were happy to sit back and defend too deep in extra-time, but they conceded a penalty after Thamsanqa Gabuza was fouled by Morgan Gould. 

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However, Williams produced a fine save to deny Zambia international Mulenga from the spot-kick. 

“It’s unacceptable to concede goals the way we did from the areas we supposed to protect. Practically both goals came from the same area where we shouldn’t concede such goals,” he said.

“We need to improve effectiveness in front of goals. It’s good to play in front of a reinforced defence to learn how to play against teams that are reinforcing defences to create more chances and entrances in attack and how to utilise what brings what you need to win – which is to score goals,” he concluded.