Orlando Pirates Rhulani Mokwena. Picture: ANESH DEBIKY/GALLO IMAGES
Orlando Pirates Rhulani Mokwena. Picture: ANESH DEBIKY/GALLO IMAGES

He was reluctant to single out an individual player from a solid team performance‚ but Orlando Pirates coach Rulani Mokwena was pleased to see Thembinkosi Lorch return to form in Bucs’s Telkom Knockout victory over Stellenbosch FC.

Pirates were more convincing than the 1-0 scoreline in their last-16 win at Orlando Stadium on Saturday suggests.

Missed chances were the culprit in the Buccaneers leaving it the 84th minute to seal the game when Lorch scored his first of the season.

Lorch, the goalscorer in Bafana Bafana’s win over hosts Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations in July‚ and the Premier Soccer League’s footballer of the season in 2018-19, had struggled to find his gears this campaign.

He was all over Stellenbosch in attack on Saturday‚ peppering them with shots on target until one went in.

“If I have to pinpoint it would be difficult‚ because Ntsikelelo Nyauza was good‚ Happy Jele was colossal on the day‚” Mokwena said of his team’s individual performances.

“Paseka Mako was unbelievable‚ both on attack and defence. Linda Mntambo was good and gave balance to the team and used the ball well.

“Fortune Makaringe also reminded us of the Makaringe who we saw at Maritzburg‚ and who was selected for Bafana‚ and of why we brought him here. Good with the ball‚ and without the ball‚ in the right areas anticipating play.

“Lorch was unbelievable. He can get better. He knows that. He’s honest and  wants to always improve so that he can contribute more to the team.

“Tshegofatso Mabasa led our high press and was exceptional. Vincent Pule put in a good shift and helped on the high press. They are the ones who take the pressure off the last line.

“It was a collective effort. Very good in both phases.”

Pirates meet Stellenbosch in a Premiership rematch at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

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