Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic and assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena celebrate their victory during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, April 6 2019. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin Sredojevic and assistant coach Rhulani Mokwena celebrate their victory during the Absa Premiership match between Bidvest Wits and Orlando Pirates at Bidvest Stadium in Johannesburg, April 6 2019. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic refuses to accept that his team’s last-gasp 1-0 win over Bidvest Wits at Milpark on Saturday was undeserved on an afternoon in which they showed little appetite to reproduce the kind of attacking football they had played gainst Mamelodi Sundowns a week ago.

Pirates’ win‚ courtesy of an injury-time own goal by Wits left back Keagan Ritchie‚ caused them to move to the top of the Absa Premiership table on a better goal difference than Sundowns‚ but the Brazilians have the advantage of a match in hand.

“I will disagree with saying this was a stolen win‚” said an elated Bucs coach.

“Right at the death we have won. I don’t believe that this victory was stolen; I believe we deserved it because that’s what the football gods are paying us for all the draws we have played. This is how sometimes football gods are taking from you. Football takes time.”

Sredojevic said it was always going to be difficult to beat Wits as they came to Milpark knowing they had last beaten them at their compact venue in 2013.

“Today we had a situation that since 2013 Pirates had not beaten Wits here and we had come with that at the back of our minds. Players fought very hard and we were rewarded with that goal. But … there are so many critical things that we need to go back to the drawing back [for] and look to fix in the next match.

“We have played against a very good team that had a specific way of playing and doesn’t allow you to express yourself the way you want. We had to adjust to them and in that I could say the game could have gone either way.”

Sredojevic says he is relieved Pirates will host Black Leopards on Wednesday with his best player‚ Thembinkosi Lorch‚ back from suspension after missing the Wits match.

“We want first to recover from this match and we are welcoming back Lorch from suspension and we are expecting to come fully focused on Wednesday.

“I want to invite our supporters to come and support us because their presence is a special driving force and drives players over the human sports limits and they are helping us to give our best.”

Pirates have a chance to stretch their lead at the top of the table and put Sundowns under pressure.

After playing Leopards on Wednesday Bucs will again host Free State Stars on Saturday before Sundowns‚ who have a chance to make the semifinals in the Caf Champions League after their impressive 5-0 first-leg win over Al Ahly on Saturday‚ play SuperSport United on April 17.