Pirates looking for strong finish


The Buccaneers are slowly but surely reaching their goal following an improved performance at the beginning of the year. Last year, inconsistency was a huge factor in the Bucs camp, which saw them lose five games.

Pirates are third on the league table with 43 points and are yet to lose a league match this year. Their good league run sees them trail log leaders Kaizer Chiefs by 11 points, whereas three points separate them from second-placed Mamelodi Sundowns, who have 46 points with a game in hand.

With just six games remaining, Eric Tinkler’s men seem capable of collecting all 18 points on offer when one considers how well they have been playingr. Their improved showing this year has even displayed itself in the CAF Confederations Cup, after they progressed to the next round of the competition by beating Uganda’s Revenue Authority 4-3 on aggregate.

They won 2-1 at home a fortnight ago, before grinding out a 2-2 draw over the weekend in Uganda.

Going into this game, Pirates might probably feel at ease. After all, they face a side that have only registered three wins against them, while the Soweto giants have secured 15 victories over Dikwena, with six of the clashes ending up as draws in their 24 meetings.

To Tinkler’s delight, his strikers are getting goals. Currently, Lehlohonolo Majoro has managed to score 12 in all competitions this season, while Kermit Erasmus has 10 to his name.

On the other hand, things haven’t been so sweet in the Dikwena camp, which led to their coach Alan Freese being released from his post. He has since been replaced by Cavin Johnson, who takes charge of the team for the second time.

Dikwena managed to clinch a 2-1 victory against Ajax Cape Town in Johnson’s first game in charge since rejoining the team. Two goals from Robert Ngambi sealed the win for Johnson’s charges.

Before the Ajax game, they suffered two consecutive losses at home. First it was a 2-1 setback against Maritzburg United, followed by a 3-1 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns. They are currently 11th on the log with 27 points, just seven points ahead of bottom side Amazulu. In 2012/13, Johnson led the team to second position in the league, finishing behind Chiefs with just one point ahead. This time around, they need him to help them escape the relegation threat.

The last time the two sides met, Pirates emerged victorious by a 2-0 margin, with Majoro and Lenox Bacela on the score-sheet. Now this encounter promises to be an entertaining one with Stars players looking to impress their new coach by getting a win, while Pirates will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run in the league this year. - The Star

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