Orlando Pirates appear to be doing something right in solving the defensive concerns the team had earlier in the season, with the side having minimised the number of goals conceded in recent matches.
The return of veteran defender and captain of the side Happy Jele in the win against Highlands Park paid dividends as his leadership qualities on the field proved once more that he is one of the top centre-backs in the League.
Furthermore, Jele’s central defence partner Ntsikelelo Nyauza has seemed to be picking up form and doing well for the team.
At both sides of the Pirates defence, Innocent Maela and Mthokozisi Dube proved to be vital for Rulani Mokwena’s team when they were given a chance to play against the Lions of the North.
However, it is in the goalkeeping department that there seems to be much improvement for the team in recent matches, with the Buccaneers having conceded only one goal in their last three matches in League and Telkom Knockout Cup respectively.
Wayne Sandilands has been impressive in goals for the team, since taking over from French goalkeeper Joris Delle for the last three matches.
In three matches prior to Sandilands’ return to replace Delle as the number one, Bucs conceded eight goals, with the Frenchman failing to keep a single clean sheet.
While a decision is still to be made on the line-up for the eagerly-awaited TKO quarter-final clash against Kaizer Chiefs, it could be expected that Sandilands would retain his place as Bucs’ number one.
Apart from not conceding in two of the last three matches, Sandilands kept two clean sheets from the other two matches played in the League from the first four matches of the season.
“We have a lot of quality players who can come in and perform. The team always comes first. The focus for me is not on individual honors but on the collective,” the 36-year-old shot-stopper said, speaking about the Chiefs match, as quoted on the PSL’s official website.