Orlando Pirates got back to winning ways in the Nedbank Cup on Saturday against All Stars, after a disappointing defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns. There were several interesting subplots in the game, one of which was Thembinkosi Lorch’s return, who was out of action due to an injury suffered in August 2022. Lorch’s return inspired José Riverio’s side to victory.
Pirates were having trouble breaking down All Stars’ resolute defence, but the introduction of Lorch at the beginning of the second half sparked the Buccaneers. Lorch showed a remarkable link-up play and combination with Monnapule Saleng, the pair were in sync and had almost flawless chemistry.
The hunger and desire shown by Lorch should serve as a wake-up call for Keegan Dolly, who has underperformed this season. Despite being only a few months younger than Dolly, Lorch showed a fight combined with a flair that hasn’t been seen from Dolly this season. The injury may have reignited a fire within Lorch, who has been watching from the sidelines and has seamlessly fit back into the Pirates team.
The Buccaneers have been lacking quality lately, and although there were question marks around Lorch, he proved his doubters wrong. The display brought back memories of the Lorch of 2016 when he was unstoppable at times. Lorch played with an aura around him that inspired his team to victory.
Lorch now has to start against Maritzburg United this Friday to gain further match fitness ahead of the Soweto derby on Saturday, February 25th. José Riverio faces a selection dilemma but must make the brave decision to either tweak the system to incorporate Lorch and utilise his best attributes or keep him on the bench and use him as a substitute.
Also Read: Why Happy Mashiane needs to start for Chiefs