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Micho plays down Pirates' title bid after Wits demolition

Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic has once again dismissed claims that his side are title contenders following Pirates’ 4-0 demolition job of defending champions Bidvest Wits at an empty Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

Orlando Pirates players celebrate a goal. Picture: Twitter/@orlandopirates

JOHANNESBURG - Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevic has once again dismissed claims that his side are title contenders following Pirates’ 4-0 demolition job of defending champions Bidvest Wits at an empty Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

Pirates had to play the fixture behind closed doors following the Premier Soccer League’s Disciplinary sanction for fan bad behavior in their game against Mamelodi Sundowns in February 2017.

The empty stadium didn’t deter Pirates’ motivation to keep the title race alive and narrow the gap on leaders Sundowns to four points following their 2-2 draw against Maritzburg United.

The Clever Boys aided Pirates quest as early as the 12th minute, when defender Sifiso Hlanti turned the ball into the back of his own net following a cross from Luvuyo Memela from the left-hand flank. Wits made plenty of errors on the night, as another defensive error allowed Augustine Mulenga in for his first goal of the night and Pirates’ second.

Mulenga’s Zambian teammate, Justin Shonga made it 3-0 from the penalty spot and Pirates took a healthy lead into the halftime break. Memela and Mulenga were menacing all night and the former turned provider for Mulenga’s second of the night to complete Pirates’ 4-0 demolition job.

Despite going down 4-0, Wits had plenty of chances to find the back of the net. Vincent Pule’s thunderous left foot shot was punched away over the bar by Siyabonga Mpontshane, who was having a blinder in goal.

The introduction of Lehlohonolo Majoro in the second half also gave Wits some impetus going forward. A rare mistake at the back from Pirates gave Majoro a clear sight on goal but his shot was cleared off the line by Gladwin Shitolo. Majoro had another opportunity to score, this time from the penalty spot, but Mpontshane made a brilliant save.

Micho said after the game that his side are still not focusing on the title race

"We respect the log leaders Sundowns and our only focus now is on the last two games of the season. We have a tough game against Cape Town City on the weekend and we all know how going to Cape Town is."

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