May 12, 2021

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Zinnbauer: Orlando Pirates’ super-sub Mabasa could start against Kaizer Chiefs

The German tactician also provided an update on Ofori, who missed the clash against Enyimba

Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer has indicated that Tshegofatso Mabasa could start against the Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto Derby meeting on Sunday.

The left-footed forward was the hero of the Buccaneers as they clinched a 2-1 victory over Nigerian giant Enyimba in the Caf Confederation Cup Group A game on Wednesday night.

Mabasa came off the bench to score the game-winning goal which earned the Pirates their first Group A victory in a match that was played at South African football’s mecca, Orlando Stadium.

The 24-year-old has proven to be a sub-super this quarter after also scoring a late game-winner against SuperSport United in a PSL game in November 2020 after taking over.

“Now we have about three days and maybe it’s possible for him to start against the Chiefs,” Zinnbauer said on Sowetan.

“We will have to see what happened to all the players who played the game against Enyimba‚ but we need him in return and he is not the only one.

“We have a lot of attacking players who have been taken out but I’m happy when a player comes back from an injury and scores.”

Mabasa, who also came off the bench to snatch a late equalizer for Bucs against Baroka FC in a league game in November 2020, has suffered injuries this season.

“The problem is always with the conditioning because you need a few minutes in the legs and you saw that it was not possible for him [Mabasa] to start against Enyimba, ”Zinnbauer added.

The bulky forward has scored three goals in nine appearances in all competitions for the Buccaneers this season.

Meanwhile, Zinnabuer is uncertain whether the club’s first-choice goalkeeper Richard Ofori will be fit for the clash against the Chiefs which is expected to be played at FNB Stadium.

“I don’t know 100% of the availability of Ofori, but we will get the information from the second scan. I think it’s not easy for him to play on the weekend, ”he explained.

The Ghana international was injured in the Pirates’ 0-0 draw against former Algerian champions in a Confederation Cup Group A match in Ghana last week.

It remains to be seen whether Zinnbauer will stick with Siyabonga Mpontshane ‚who started in goal against Enyimba if Ofori is not deemed fit for the Soweto Derby match.