What inspired Pirates comeback win over Leopards

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi revealed that the halftime conversation during their Café Confederation Cup Group B clash with Royal Leopards was tense, with the coaching staff angry at the players for their poor display.

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Pirates conceded two goals early in the game, but they fought their way back into the game to finish with a 6-2 win over the eSwatini club.

The win propelled the Soweto giants to the top of the group by six points after three games, two points ahead of Al-Ittihad and JS Saoura, who are four points after two and three games respectively. Leopards are at the bottom of the log.

Ncikazi says it was vital for Pirates to get a win against Leopards, especially by a large scoring margin and to build player confidence with a tough game schedule ahead.

“I think this group will be decided based on the number of goals, so it was important that we score. We have a tough schedule ahead of us – the week is very difficult – play on Wednesday, tough game Cape Town City, we play Kaizer Chiefs on the 5th, Nedbank Cup on the 9the‘ said Bucs’ co-coach.

“We had to kick some chairs, we had to lift some desks. Because I thought the mentality of the team in the first half was not what we expected what we warned them about. That if we take things lightly the way we did, we can’t start competitions like this, it’s different from us. Sometimes you don’t have a chance to come back. So a positive start is important, start with the front foot.”

Pirates will face Cape Town in a draw in the DStv Premiership at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday, followed by the Soweto derby against Kaizer Chiefs at home three days later.

Bucs will then compete with Marumo Gallants for a spot in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals on March 9.

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