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Dejected Ncikazi rues missed chances after Orlando Pirates' Caf Champions League hopes take knock

3:12 AM MYT 28/04/2022
Mandla Ncikazi Orlando Pirates.jpg
The retired defender thinks the Buccaneers paid the price for not taking their chances against the Chilli Boys

Orlando Pirates co-head coach Mandla Ncikazi cut a disappointed figure after the team's hopes of finishing in the top two in the PSL took a knock against Chippa United on Wednesday.

The Buccaneers had an opportunity to reduce the gap between them and second-placed Royal AM to three points, but they were held to a 0-0 draw by the Chilli Boys in a match which was played at Orlando Stadium.

Pirates moved up to fourth place on the league standings - five points behind Royal and Ncikazi admitted that his side had dropped "valuable points" in their pursuit of Caf Champions League football.

"Highly disappointed, a match we should have definitely won, two points dropped. Valuable points that we needed but when you miss chances like we missed you won't win matches," Ncikazi told SuperSport TV. 

"We were supposed to score today but you can see the opponent played a game where they were just here to play for a point, they got what they wanted but we wanted the three points, we can't score, we couldn't score."

The teams which will finish in the top two positions on the PSL standings this season will qualify for next season's Champions League. 

Ncikazi, who is a former Maritzburg United and Lamontville Golden Arrows head coach, explained that it is always difficult to break down a team playing with a low block. 

"Every dominance and control that we had but they are sitting in a low block, very close to the goalkeeper. We threw everything but it just didn't happen today," he added. 

"It's always challenging, you don't have the spaces in the wide channels that you want, they don't give you the space between the goalkeeper and the centre-backs, the corridor of uncertainty where we would run to. 

"Now you have to be creative in front of goal, take shots from range, get set-plays but I think neither of that worked today and this is the result that we have."

Pirates will be hoping to return to winning ways in the PSL when they take on TS Galaxy at Mbombela Stadium on Monday.