Pirates need a swift wake-up call if they are to win DDC title

football19 March 2024 10:35| © SuperSport
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Joseph Makhanya © Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates will need to face the reality that their chances of winning the DStv Diski Challenge title are slowly fading.

The Buccaneers have had a stellar campaign in the Reserve league up until match day 20 where they were dethroned at the top of the table.

If their last two matches where they lost 2-1 to Cape Town Spurs and drew 0-0 with TS Galaxy are anything to go by, they must forget about winning the league. Their performances in their last two matches leave a lot to be desired.

And if they do not catch a wake-up call, they will not catch up with log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns who are already five points ahead of them.

Sundowns are leading the standings with 50 points after 22 matches. Stellenbosch are breathing in their necks with 48 points.

Pirates are third with 45 points, from the same number of matches. This coming Sunday, The Buccaneers will face Soweto Rivals Kaizer Chiefs in a derby match scheduled for Tsakane Stadium at 3 pm.

Failure to get maximum points will cause a serious dent in Pirates chances of clinching the title. Coach Joseph Makhanya’s charges are hoping for a third time lucky after having great seasons in the past two years only to lose the title at the end.

Talking after their goalless draw against TS Galaxy on Sunday coach Makhanya admitted it is tough, but they are not going to give up until the final match of the season.

“Maybe we talk more about winning instead of the process. For these boys it is about learning what it takes to run a marathon and finish on top. It comes with a lot of preparation, a lot of setback and a lot of moments like this. But again, it is a marathon the boys need to bounce back,” said Makhanya.

“It’s a big one next week [against Chiefs]. We wanted to go to that one with good performance, but it is what it is.”

Makhanya continued: “It is going to be hard to get them ready for the next one, but whether we like it or not we have to be ready and show up. We will try to grind the results, come back with maximum points.

“It is football, eight games equal to 24 points. That’s a lot, but the sooner we pick up points the better.”

In the 2021-22 season, Pirates lost the title in the crucial stages of the season to Stellenbosch FC. Last season they looked promising but couldn’t keep up with the pressure again, and ended up losing the title to SuperSport United on the Penultimate day.