Phunye Sele Sele and former Buccaneer forward Ndumiso Mabena was sent off just before half-time for a studs-up challenge on Linda Mntambo
Former Orlando Pirates star Teko Modise felt the Soweto side could have been more ruthless against a 10-man Bloemfontein Celtic side in their 1-0 win at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday night.
A brilliant strike by Fortune Makaringe on the hour mark was ultimately enough for Pirates to claim the three points, although they did make hard work of the victory.
Bucs coach Zinnbauer admitted after the game his players looked “very tired”, although Modise questioned whether they could have been more comfortable in their win.
“At some point in the game, you actually think that Celtic are the ones who [have an] extra player,” Modise said after the match in his capacity as a SuperSport TV presenter, after the visitors played the second half a man short following Ndumiso Mabena’s red card.
“They started putting those balls in the box and they were fighting for all those balls. When Orlando Pirates scored it was against the run of play, because they were not in control of the game,” Modise elaborated.
“But you also need to give Bloemfontein Celtic credit. For Orlando Pirates to respect Bloemfontein Celtic like that for the whole 45 minutes, to still have your normal back four at the back, while having no stress.”
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Free State side created some good chances in the second half and Bucs keeper Richard Ofori had to make some vital saves.
“Look at the chances they created,” Modise pointed out. “Those were the moments when you wish you had your offensive player (Mabena) receiving the ball to be calm inside the box and to be able to score.
“It’s a bit of a concern for Orlando Pirates defensively. You still have all your back four and you still allow people to come in (to the box). When you are playing against a team that has 10 men…you need to have players that can change the formation a little bit.
“For me, take out one of the defenders, have three at the back, add a person that can be a reference upfront. Whether it’s [Tshegofatso] Mabasa, whether its [Gabadinho] Mhango (who were both on the bench), it doesn’t matter, then you have a reference point which allows your Pule freedom of play, allows Hotto freedom of movement.
“Then you’ve got proper balance and you are still keeping Bloemfontein Celtic at bay.”