Pirates captain reveals secret weapon to success

Innocent Maela, captain of Orlando Pirates celebrates with fans

Orlando Pirates captain Innocent Maela, has revealed the secret behind their recent success, ahead of the Soweto Derby titanic showdown against fierce rivals Kaizer Chiefs, at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Maela is well aware that this secret will have to be unleashed if Pirates are to do better than the 2-1 victory they achieved in January 2021, which stands as their only victory in the last six league clashes against Kaizer Chiefs.

Fortunes seemed to have changed for the better since those dark days for the Bucs, especially in the past few weeks leading to the derby.

They are buoyed by an emphatic 3-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns, that catapulted them to the final of the MTN8, on a weekend when rivals Chiefs were booted out.

The Orlando Pirates skipper said their weapon is understanding that football is about defence and attack.

Maela, whose brother Tsepo Masilela ironically played for Kaizer Chiefs from 2012 to 2018, plays as a defender, but underlined that the whole team must take credit for the sterling efforts at the back, that have brought them success this season.

“We don’t place the responsibility of defending to just the five or so guys at the back. The whole team has done well. It starts from the strikers tracking back to defend. This is what has worked for us. We defend as a team,” he said.

The Buccaneers have only conceded one goal in their last four fixtures, as testament to their defensive secret weapon they hope to use as a trump card on Saturday in Soweto.

In direct contrast, the leaky Kaizer Chiefs defence has let in four goals in their last four games. However, the 0-0 draw against AmaZulu last weekend in the away goal rules MTN8 loss, has brought Amakhosi  coach Arthur Zwane some measure of belief that he has finally found an answer to his side’s defence frailties.

Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates during DStv Premiership 2022/23 match between Orlando Pirates and AmaZulu FC at Orlando Stadium on the 14 October 2022 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix