Orlando Pirates

Why these two Orlando Pirates stars could do with a shining performance against Cape Town City

11:33 SAST 2020/12/04
Richard Ofori, Orlando Pirates, October 2020
Richard Ofori will be looking to bounce back after his blunder last weekend while Deon Hotto could provide the inspiration in attack

Victory for Orlando Pirates over Cape Town City this weekend would make a strong statement of intent about the Buccaneers’ aspirations this season.

The two sides will meet in a league encounter at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Saturday afternoon.

Bucs, boosted by some promising new signings, are looking like they have a decent chance of ending a six-year trophy drought. To do so, they’ll need to win some testing games this season, just like this one against City.

In 10 previous matches (league and cup) against the Cape side, Pirates have won just twice, lost three times, and there have been five draws.

And two players who could potentially be key on Saturday in the Winelands are goalkeeper Richard Ofori and winger Deon Hotto. Indeed, both could and should be important players throughout the season for the Sea Robbers.

Looking at Ofori first, Pirates have struggled now for several years to fill the void left by the tragic death of goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa back in 2014.

They chased Maritzburg United for the signature of Ofori for some time and eventuality got the Ghana international on their books this season. With Bafana Bafana captain and central defender Thulani Hlatshwayo also signed, the Bucs defence appears rock solid.

That, unfortunately though, was not the case last weekend when a howler of an error by Ofori allowed Ananias Gebhardt to score for Baroka FC. A 90th minute equaliser by Tshegofatso Mabasa salvaged a point for Bucs, but it was still two points dropped by the team due to Ofori dropping a simple catch.

The City technical team would have done their homework, and we may see them trying to test Ofori’s nerves by getting crosses and set-plays into the box and putting him under pressure.

From Bucs’ point of view, it’s crucial that Ofori stands tall and regains his confidence, because after trying for so long to find an established number one, they won’t want to have to go back to the drawing board in that department.

Hotto meanwhile has blown hot and cold this season and has found himself subbed off at half-time in several matches already.

He did show what he is capable of with two superb assists during Pirates’ 5-0 aggregate win over Kaizer Chiefs in the two-legged MTN8 semi-finals. He also has an assist in the league but is yet to score himself this term.

Assists are what Bucs need right now, because without the injured Thembinkosi Lorch and Vincent Pule in the team, it seems they lack a bit of flair and creativity in the wide attacking positions.

The Namibian has the perfect chance now to establish himself as a key player and could do his cause a lot of good with a fine performance on Saturday, should he get on the park.