Highlands Park faced off Orlando Pirates in Absa Premiership fixture away at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night hoping to cause an upset to an on form Pirates.
Owen Da Gama’s men had a bad start into the game as the defence were once again caught napping in the early stages of the match after a long ball found Thembinkosi Lorch who netted the hosts’ first of the night.
Pirates found their second after striker Gabadinho Mhango intercepted a Luckyboy Mokoena back pass to round keeper Kyle Roberts and netted his 12th league goal this campaign. Highlands looked to regroup and create chances and were almost rewarded when Rodney Ramagalela’s attempt was handled by Sandilands to keep the hosts lead.
The hosts went into halftime three goals ahead when Paseka Mako netted in the bottom corner following interplay with Mhango.
In the second half Sandilands also partook in the match after having being compelled to make quick reflexes to keep the visitors at bay. The Lions managed to pull one back though Ramagalela’s header.
Pirates managed to see off the visitor’s late push to stick it out for the maximum points and remained fifth in the Premier League standings.
Highlands Park coach Owen Da Gama says the team gave it their all and that from technical perspective, the boys showed character in the second half. Da Gama says as the team had been preparing he warned the boys against conceding early as it’ll allow them to get more control as the game resumes. ‘’ We had spoken before the game, and the entire week we’ve been telling the guys that we shouldn’t concede early cause the longer the game goes on the more control we will take’’.
Da Gama says had the team scored two of their numerous changes the game would’ve had a different outcome. ‘’ We gave away two soft goals, up until then I think we started coming back very strongly in the second half but the ball wouldn’t go into the net, we tried everything’’. ‘’ In the second half we came and we just took control of the game and for me that s character, we really came at them in the second half.
Starting XI: Peters, Mokoena, Mbhele, Fransman, Mzava, Mbatha, Ramoraka, Letsholonyane, Shalulile, Mvala, Ramagalela.
Subs: Kapini, T. Mbatha, Motsepe, Mogaila, Jooste, Msane, Mbunjana.