Cape Town - Highlands Park coach Owen da Gama has
admitted that Orlando Pirates outplayed his side in their 1-1 draw at Orlando
Stadium, but claimed the newly promoted side got their tactics right.
The visitors took the lead in the 14th
minute thanks to a mistake from Wayne Sandilands but the Buccaneers equalised
in the 61st minute through a Justin Shonga penalty.
"I think in my humble opinion Orlando
Pirates were a better team. They've got a quality outfit, very good team. I
think at times we were fortunate," da Gama told SuperSport.
"But from a tactical perspective we
were spot on. I mean (Augustine) Mulenga did not do anything and he's a quality
player. We took him out of the game.
“We knew that he was going to be strong. We
knew that (Thembinkosi) Lorch was going to create many opportunities running
loose. He was substituted. (Vincent) Pule was substituted.
“So, I think credit must go to Orlando
Pirates for the type of football that they played. But I'm just happy that
first game we get a point in the PSL.
“We'll take that point six o'clock in the
morning. I'm very happy with the spirit that the boys put in. Talent is important,
but spirit is just as important.”
However, Da Gama admitted that his players
were still adjusting to the demands of the Absa Premiership.
"We respect the PSL, you could see
that today. We still have a long way to go, we still have to learn," he
"We still have to acclimatise. Our
players had a little bit of stage fright, that big match temperament is
important. The only way they'll have it is to go through these games."
Highlands welcome Black Leopards to the Makhulong
Stadium in their next match on Wednesday.
Kick-off is at 19:30.