'In 35 years, it has not happened to me'
Posted: 28 August 2018 Time: 09:43 pm
Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic praised his charges for keeping their cool after Thamsanqa Gabuza walked off in the first half.
The Soweto giants returned to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Black Leopards on Tuesday evening.
However, the game will be remembered for Gabuza, who walked off the pitch and into the tunnel after celebrating his side's opening goal.
“It was a football thriller from start to end. Under unbelievable circumstances we remained without one player in a moment where we scored the goal and we are supposed to cool down. I don’t want to comment on that,” Sredojevic said to SuperSport TV.
“Before that we had five or six clear chances to open the scoring and that own goal came. It’s not easy to play over 60 minutes with a player less. I want to give credit to the players we cooled our heads at halftime. They gave everything they could. They respected the jersey and the supporters. Deservedly we got the second goal. We showed lack of concentration to allow the equaliser. It became a thriller and unpredictable towards the end. I believe we deserved to win given what we have given on the field.”
The Bucs boss was unwilling to comment about the Gabuza issue but said it’s the first time it has happened to him in 35 years since being involved in football.
“It was not easy. In 35 years [in football ]it has not happened to me but everything happens once. It’s a lesson we have learned.
“In anyway we resettled ourselves in a 5-3-1 [formation] dropping back because it’s not easy to play against a very good team as Black Leopards with a player less for 60 minutes. I want to give credit to the players they have given everything.”
“Micho”, as the Pirates coach in fondly known, reveals Gabuza did feel something before the opening goal arrived.
“He got injured prior to the goal there and when the goal came he was leaving the field without the consent of the referee and the referee acted as per the rules. [The injury] It is above his knee in his muscle. It is something I will not comment because I’m a technical person,” he said.