CAPE TOWN – An emotionally charged Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer is hell-bent on revenge against Cape Town City in the MTN8 at Orlando Stadium on Saturday evening (kickoff 6pm).
It still rankles Zinnbauer that his side lost 1-0 to a 10-man City in a Premiership match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium during the bio-bubble phase of the competition in August. Kermit Erasmus, a former Pirates striker, netted the lone goal in the first half.
City midfielder Mpho Makola, a former Pirates stalwart with 137 caps, was red-carded in the 33rd minute but Pirates were unable to drive home their numerical advantage. To add insult to injury, 10-man City also scored in the second half, but the goal was disallowed.
“Yes, it is an emotional game for me. We lost the last game (against City),” said the German-born coach Zinnbauer.
“We know we had a game in the bubble against Cape Town City and it was not so good for us.
“We had a good chance to get three points from that game (because they played with 10 men) but we lost and now it is time we win.
“It is the first target that we have (at the start of the season). We want to win this game.
“We have a home game this time, and we play in our stadium. If we win this game, we have a chance to win the MTN8.”
During a media session this week, Zinnbauer was reminded that Pirates had not won a trophy for several seasons. He knows that with such weight of expectation comes pressure.
“When you work at a club like Orlando Pirates, Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs or one of the other big clubs in the league than it is normal to expect a title but that’s football,” said Zinnbauer.
“We have other teams in the league, and they are also fighting for titles.”
Zinnbauer has done his homework on City and feels Pirates will be well prepared.
“Cape Town City have a top structure, and they have good defenders in terms of centre backs and the keeper,” said Zinnbauer.
“In the last game, the keeper was unbelievably good as was the defending structures.
“In the offence structure, they play very good ball positions.
“They have very good ball circulation, and they have a very good transition from attack to defence.
Pirates, behind Kaizer Chiefs (15), are the second most successful club in the history of MTN8 with nine championship wins.