Coach Palacios hails Pirates

2012-05-20 16:17
Augusto Palacios (File)

Soweto - Orlando Pirates coach Augusto Palacios hailed the character of his side after they clinched the Absa Premiership title on Saturday, saying it was the perfect response to their critics.

The Buccaneers were crowned champions for a second successive season after a thrilling 4-2 comeback victory over Golden Arrows in Durban.

Pirates, who needed victory to secure the title due to fellow Soweto club Moroka Swallows also being in with a chance, needed two second-half goals from veteran striker Benni McCarthy to clinch the three points.

“People never believed in the squad we had,” interim boss Palacios said.

“People never believed in Benni, they never thought he can play two or three games in a row.

“But he fought hard and all the players did. Today we never panicked, even after we made some mistakes."

Pirates opened the scoring through a Lucky Lekgwathi header after 26 minutes, before the Moses Mabhida Stadium was stunned into silence after two goals in three minutes by Dillon Sheppard and Katlego Mashego that gave Arrows the lead.

But an excellent header by former Abafana Bes'thende defender Siyabonga Sangweni made it 2-2 at half time, before McCarthy put Pirates back in front with a 61st minute header and added a fine free-kick in stoppage time to clinch the win.

Palacios, who began his reign with a 3-0 loss to Santos after taking over from Julio Leal, said his players rallied behind him after their poor start under his guidance.

“We sat together thereafter to see what was the problem, we rectified it and today we saw the results in my final game," Palacios said.

“No matter what line-up I play, it did not matter. I believed in these players, their character and their confidence.”

The Peruvian coach revealed that he never set out to win the league, which was Pirates’ third trophy this season after the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout.

“When the chairman asked me to take over in a difficult situation, I said to him I will take it game-by-game,” he explained.

“That was my philosophy and today was just another one of those games.

“Personally, I never focused on becoming the league champion. My aim was to accumulate points and this is what we did and that’s the reason why we arrived here.”

Pirates were always in the mix for the title, although they were considered only third favourites behind Pretoria sides Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United at the start of the month after dropping six points in three successive draws.

“No (I was never in doubt that we could win), I think the key game was against SuperSport because they were fighting us for the title,” Palacios said.

"After that result, we knew what we had to do."

Read more on:    orlando pirates  |  psl  |  augusto palacios  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
13 September 2016
Ajax Cape Town v Orlando Pirates, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Highlands Park v Baroka FC, Makhulong Stadium 19:30
Polokwane City v Wits, Old Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
14 September 2016
Kaizer Chiefs v Platinum Stars, FNB Stadium 19:30
Free State Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic, Goble Park Stadium 19:30
Maritzburg United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Harry Gwala Stadium 19:30
SuperSport United v Chippa United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 19:30
Golden Arrows v Cape Town City, Prince Magogo Stadium 19:30
20 September 2016
Ajax Cape Town v Polokwane City, Cape Town Stadium 19:30
Baroka FC v Wits, New Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Orlando Pirates v Cape Town City, Orlando Stadium 19:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

When all is said and done in the 2015/16 Absa Premiership season, who will be crowned champions of South Africa?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.