'Pirates were the better team'

Orlando Pirates

READ: Highlands claim a point at Orlando

The Lions of the North were somewhat lucky after a howler from goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands gifted them a 1-0 lead that they could not preserve after Justin Shonga converted from the penalty spot.

Despite picking up a point on their return to the Absa Premiership, Da Gama felt the Buccaneers were the superior outfit on the night.

“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,” the former Orlando Pirates coach frankly told SuperSport TV.

“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.”

The experienced and well travelled coach concluded by stating that they are still trying to find their feet in the PSL.

“We respect the PSL, you could see that today. We still have a long way to go, we still have to learn. 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,” Da Gama concluded.