Cape Town - Orlando Pirates coach Rhulani Mokwena was full of praise for
his players despite getting eliminated from the Telkom Knockout by Kaizer
Chiefs on Saturday.
The Soweto derby started well for the Buccaneers as they
took the lead via Fortune Makaringe, but a red card in the 50th minute for
Mthokozisi Dube turned the tide and led to an equaliser from Leonardo Castro.
Both sides scored in extra-time, forcing the game into a
penalty shootout which Chiefs won 4-2 to progress to the semi-finals.
Despite the outcome of the game Mokwena was delighted with
his team's style of football and equated it to a masterpiece.
"But (it was) a gallant performance. I was saying
outside, in certain moments I felt like I was Pablo Picasso, admiring the Mona
Lisa painting because you just cannot - when you love football - help but
admire the Orlando Pirates players," he said.
"They were unbelievable today, they fought hard,
especially when they were one man short - you couldn't see. You could see with
the pressure (from Chiefs), but with regards to how they covered the pitch;
galvanised and motivated each other - they were colossal; they were beasts.
"And I must tell you, I've got a lot of years of
coaching ahead of me, but I can tell you this much: those Orlando Pirates
players have got a new family member in me, because they're prepared to look
after my back, and this is what humbles me."
The Buccaneers are back in action when the Absa Premiership on
Tuesday against plucky Maritzburg United before taking on Amakhosi on Saturday.
- TeamTalk Media