26th July 2003
Spurs' visit to South Africa will be
welcomed by the people of that country, who haven't had the chance to
see the team since their last visit in 1963. The first match of
the two game tour pits Spurs against Orlando Pirates, who are the
current PSL Champions. Here are details of some of their players.
The recent signing of Daniel
'Sailor"' Tshabalala, from Silver Stars, has seen him be brought in
to replace former captain Thabo Mngomeni. The coach feels that
they are a little weak on the left wing where Sibusiso Mazibuko plays
and Shaun Potgieter lacks confidence.
Other players who may be signed up by
Saturday are former Santos winger Patrick Thwala, who was at Sundowns at
the end of last season, South Africa
international central defender Edward Malinga who will clearly be
back-up for injury-prone Papi Khomane and replacement for captain
Mbulelo Mabizela who is venturing to Europe to play his football for
French club Lille.
Currently starring in defence, Gerald
Raphahlela is a big obstacle to overcome being a rugged centre half,
meanwhile last season's left back Innocent Chikoya was transfer listed
in an attempt to reduce the number of foreign players in the side to the
League's limits. Avery John, a Trinidad international (and
relation of Stern John) has joined from Irish club Longford Town and
wing back Felix Musasa Muamba, distinguished by his trademark white
boots and gloves, will give the Buccaneers an option down the flank.
Defender Lucky Lekgwathi is likely to
miss the game through injury picked up in an African Nations Cup
qualifier against Burundi, but last season's leading league goalscorer -
Lesley Manyathela - could be one player to feature who could cause the
Spurs defence most problems with his pace and strength. It is a
little worrying though that his nickname is "Slow Poison"
!! He is available after going to Crete for a trial with OFI.
Young player of the year Lebohang Mokoena has been selected for the
South Africa Under-20 squad and is a young forward with great
potential. He has only just broken into the first team, but great
things are expected of him.
Tottenham will face a side that has done
well to win it's first Championship and will show some of the attributes
that the national side displayed when they met England recently ...
strength, pace and no little amount of skill. It should be an
interesting game !!
Orlando Pirates website - www.orlandopiratesfc.com
Coverage : -
TV - South African TV Channel SS5 at 15.15 p.m.
|Orlando Pirates 2
Tottenham 1 (Half-time score :
|Saturday 26th July 2003
|Venue : - ABSA Park, Durban,
|Kick Off : - 14.30 p.m. (15.30 p.m.
- Local time)
|Weather : - Hot
!, but windy.
|Crowd : - 20,000
|Referee : - Petros
|Teams : -
Orlando Pirates : Makweni; Mabizela (c), Khomane, Musasa, Netshodwe;
Phakathi (Dinha 83), Makhanya (Lekoelea 63), Thwala, Tshabalala, Kabanga
(Kauleza 53), Manyathala
Unused subs: - Tlale, Tau, Mazibuko, Leremi, Kubheka, Mofedi,
Cele, Portgieter, Manenzhe
Tottenham : - Burch;
Carr, Gardner, Perry; Taricco (Galbraith 86), Etherington, Redknapp (c)
(Anderton 81), Toda, Davies; Gus Poyet (Keane 66), Postiga
Unused subs: - Richards, King, Bunjevcevic, Kelly, Marney,
|Colours : -
Orlando Pirates - Black shirts with
white trim, black shorts,
|Colours : -
Tottenham - All sky blue
|Scorers : -
Orlando Pirates - Lekoelea
76, Manyathala (pen) 85
Tottenham - Musasa
|Cards : -
Orlando Pirates - -
Tottenham - -
In a buzzing atmosphere, the South African champions
Orlando Pirates, fielding four players making their debuts, proved too
much for Tottenham and went on to win 2-1.
The fact that the grass at the ASBA
stadium in Durban was too long to suit Spurs' game did not help
proceedings and the home side roared out of the blocks wanting to show
Tottenham that the South African game had come on since their last visit
to the country back in 1963.
While Spurs had some periods of
possession, they failed to penetrate and in the hot conditions they were
stonewalled by the Bucs defence. There was a feeling that the home
team were a little over-awed by the fact that they were playing the big
names of Tottenham Hotspur to begin with, but when they settled down
after the break, they ran at Spurs and caused problems, with Joseph
Makhanya and Patrick Thwala flying down the wings. Jimmy Kauleza
and Lesley 'Slow Poison' Manyathela had a few chances but they
failed to beat Rob Burch in the Spurs goal.
'Sailor' Tshabalala had a good start to his Pirates career with an
industrious appearance in midfield, but another midfielder was not so
well received. There were jeers from the faithful when Steve
Lekoelea came on in place of Makhanya with twenty minutes remaining.
There was generally a carnival atmosphere
as the home crowd got to see some of the players they regularly watch on
TV in live Premiership matches and they erupted when Lekoelea struck a
free-kick, conceded by a Taricco foul, from just outside the penalty
area out of Rob Burch's reach and into the top left hand corner of the
goal to give Pirates the lead. It seems as though South African
crowds can be as fickle as ones in England !!
Spurs managed to get back into the game
straight away when Helder Postiga got the ball off the home defence,
beat a couple of players and hit a shot that seemed to be going wide,
but the white glove wearing right back Felix Muasa got a touch on the
ball that took it past keeper Makweni. The play almost immediately
swung back to the Tottenham end and Manyathala showed his shoot on sight
policy with two low shots that made Burch move sharply.
One of the interesting battles that took
place was between Carr and Thwala, which threatened to be a flash-point
during the match and, as usual, Taricco got involved in some
'handbags'. When it looked like Tottenham might have salvaged
something from the game, Pirates kept pressing and in the 85th minute of
the game Stephen Carr handled in the box, blocking Thwala's cross and
giving him the last laugh, to provided the hosts with a final chance to
win the match. The penalty was grateful converted by 'Slow
Poison', who sent Burch the wrong way and there was only one more
chance before the end of the action, when Gardner got his head to a
Galbraith cross in the last minute, but got it over the bar, leaving the
Buccaneers the winners.
The Pirates were a physical side and
showed that they had quite a bit of skill, sometimes taunting Spurs with
some of their tricks as the visitors wilted in the heat. This was
something that Hoddle was not pleased about and it started a short war
of words in the media about the alleged 'lack of respect'
shown by Pirates and the Pirates Brand manager claimed that this was the
way that South African football was played and that Hoddle must have
expected his player to 'seeking autographs' from the visiting
While it was a warm-up game for the
Premier League season and a side that will not be starting in that
competition, Spurs showed a little less commitment than they perhaps
should have, although trying to avoid injury is just as important as the
result in games like these. Tottenham produced few direct efforts
on goal - probably the best being Toda's drive from a clearance which
the keeper kept out with his legs - and that was disappointing.
However, the game in this country has improved, as England found out on
their visit, although if it was a truly competitive game, I would take
Spurs to win every time.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - ROB BURCH