Loss to Wits – was this the first true test for Pirates’ Zinnbauer?

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Since his arrival in South Africa in December, it was for the first time that Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer looked really stressed on Sunday when they were eliminated by Bidvest Wits in the Nedbank Cup 3-2 on penalties.

Zinnbauer was racing up and down the touchline when his team was 2-0 down in the first half but they managed to equalise and take the game to extra-time before they took the lead and failed to manage the game well against the 10-man Wits.

The German-born coach admits that they were seriously tested by Gavin Hunt’s side.

It was also the first time since Zinnbauer’s arrival that Pirates had conceded more than one goal in the game, this was his eighth game in charge and they had only conceded four goals before this match.

One of the surprising changes that Zinnbauer made on Sunday was to start Zakhele Lepasa ahead of Tshegofatso Mabasa who was kept on the stands with the free-scoring Gabadinho Mhango out on suspension. He explains why he went with the SA U23 international.

Most teams in this tournament opted to give other goalkeepers a chance and Pirates were not an exception as they fielded Frenchman Joris Delle on the day. But Zinnbauer has hinted that Wayne Sandilands could return against Black Leopards in the league this weekend.Report by Velile Mnyandu