‘Beating Downs gave us a lot’

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Nyirenda, a former Kaizer Chiefs striker, has seen some pressure lift off his shoulders after the club won their first league game since August this past weekend by beating Golden Arrows 2-1 in a come-from-behind victory.

They previously defeated Absa Premiership champions Sundowns 2-0 for the first time in their history on November 3, with assistant coach Matsemela Thoka in charge of that game as Nyirenda was in Zambia on compassionate leave due to a family bereavement.

"I believe that game gave us a lot," Nyirenda said of the match against the Brazilians.

"The first one was the round of 16 against the same team Golden Arrows [on October 20]; that is the one that gave us more impetus that we can do better. We scored two goals and then the following week we went away and played a very good game in Bloemfontein [1-0 loss to Bloemfontein Celtic].

"We came back and the Sundowns game we did very well. It gave us a good sign that we can play any other teams and win. But on Saturday we came with confidence. We were not over confident because we have been psyching up the players that we are playing a very good team, a better team than any other teams.

"So, I think playing Arrows at their home, with their speed and coming back from one-zero lead, to come and win, it is something marvellous."

Despite the struggles of going nine league games without getting a win, Nyirenda says their playing pattern has been good and it is just that the results weren't positive.

"We have been playing very good football, just like on Saturday," he said.

"It has been so unfortunate that we have been giving points away. On Saturday the team showed a lot character playing away to Golden Arrows, a team which is well-structured, well-organised.

"I like Golden Arrows' speed of play. They're a very tough team to beat and beating them on their own turf I think it was a thing that can show that our team is going somewhere."

That victory in Durban moved Baroka from second-from-bottom on the log to 12th with 10 points from 12 games played.

After the FIFA break, Nyirenda's men will host Bidvest Wits in the Telkom Knockout semi-finals at Peter Mokaba Stadium on November 25.

Their next league game is against Downs in Tshwane on December 11.