Platinum Stars’ Thobani Kunene’s 91st minute was a major blow to Orlando Pirates early season efforts with coach Muhsin Ertugral saying his side ‘gave it away’ as they were forced to settle for a draw.
Thabiso Kutumela opened the scoring for Pirates in the 76th minute and the Buccanneers looked on course to return to the top of the table until Kunene’s effort.
Ertugral’s side was forced to settle for a point and hinted at some poor decision-making from his strikers as the reason behind the draw.
‘I think we had complete control of the game,’ Ertugral said after the match.
‘We found openings. We knew they would sit back and play on the counter. Kutumela’s chance, one against one with the goalkeeper … Tendai’s situation, he just had to pass to Kutumela that was a goal.
‘There was a couple of entries in the last third. We need to take the right decisions, to pass or hold the ball, get it wide again to open up the lines.
‘So there is a lot of positiveness but obviously you can’t lose points by giving it away in the dying minutes of the game. We needed to control, we sometimes want too much. That’s why I always say to the team 1-0 up, two, three minutes to go, you don’t have to attack anymore. You can spread it wide, maybe find an entry from there. I think we gave it away.”
Brighton Mhlongo turned in a Man of the Match performance against Dikwena and looked to have done enough to secure a clean sheet until Kunene broke the hearts of the Pirates players and their fans.
‘I mean, I’m lost for words hey. I feel I could just trade this away for the three points because we worked so hard,’ Mhlongo told SuperSport after the match.
‘To give it up in the last minute, is just heartbreaking but at the end of the day, this point will take us somewhere. We just have to keep on grinding and grinding. So now is just a break, the guys need to recuperate and come back stronger.’
Pirates head into the international break a point behind leaders Golden Arrows, who have nine points after four games.
Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images