Gabadinho Mhango returned to the top of the PSL goalscoring charts as he netted a late winner for Orlando Pirates over Maritzburg United on Wednesday evening. SoccerClub writer DEAN WORKMAN unpacks the talking points from the clash.
The Sea Robbers again struggled in front of goal as the game against Maritzburg looked destined to finish in a dull 0-0 draw.
That was until Mhango cut back in on his right foot to beat three defenders and rifle his shot past Richard Ofori in the Maritzburg goal.
– Chiefs and Sundowns won to take the title race to the final day
– Mhango, Shalulile and Grobler scored their 15th goals of the season
Watch the full match highlights from the penultimate matchday of the 2019/2020 #AbsaPrem season on our website.
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) September 3, 2020
This was enough to fire Pirates into fourth spot and keep their hopes alive of finishing third and qualifying for the Caf Confederations Cup.
Here are some talking points from the game:
1) Pirates’ defensive improvements under Zinnbauer
The Sea Robbers have noticeably improved in their defensive shape and structure since the arrival of the German coach. Under caretaker coach Rhulani Mokwena, Pirates were notably shaky at the back but since the restart they have only conceded three goals in five games and have been difficult to break down.
2) Maritzburg’s season of revival under Tinkler
Last season Maritzburg United narrowly escaped relegation after finishing in the top four and losing in the Nedbank Cup final the season before that.
Thus, the quality in the squad has never been questioned and former Pirates boss Tinkler has managed to get the best out of his players as they look destined for a top-eight finish.
3) Trouble in front of goal continues for Pirates
The Buccaneers have sorted out their defensive issues, but now will need to find their clinical touch in front of goal ahead of next season if they have any plans on challenging for the title. The buildup play has often been brilliant, but finishing has left a lot to be desired – something which Zinnbauer has vowed to change.
4) Mhango chasing Golden Boot award
The Malawi striker topped the charts heading into the enforced coronavirus break. He, like the rest of his team, struggled in front of goal since the restart as the forward went on a run of six games without a goal. That all changed on Wednesday evening as Mhango managed to get his name back on the scoresheet and draw level with Peter Shalulile at the top heading into the final game.
The race for the #AbsaPrem Golden Boot is also going down to the wire:
⚽️ Shalulile scored yet again for Highlands Park
⚽️ Grobler’s cheeky backheel finish earned him his 15th goal
⚽️ Mhango’s left-footed strike took him to 15 goals this season
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) September 2, 2020
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