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Makusu and Sesane impress Zinnbauer on Orlando Pirates debuts

The 50-year-old tactician feels Bucs are on the right path after fringe players Sandilands and Muwowo featured against the Angolans

Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer says he was impressed by Jean-Marc Makusu and Thabiso Sesane’s debut performances.

The duo played their maiden competitive match for the Buccaneers as they secured a 1-0 win over Angola’s Sagrada Esperanca in the Caf Confederation Cup first round first-leg match on Tuesday.

It was a game which saw Wayne Sandilands return to the Bucs starting line-up having fallen out of favour since the arrival of fellow goalkeeper Richard Ofori at the Houghton-based giants in October 2020.

Zinnbauer has now explained he was pleased with how veteran shot-stopper Sandilands performed in an encounter which was played at Estadio dos Coqueiros in the capital city of Angola, Luanda. 

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“We know what we have in Sandilands. He is a top keeper in this league and I’m happy that I have him. He had a good performance,” Zinnbauer told Pirates’ media department.

“I’m very happy with Pepe [Thabiso Sesane], who is a young player from the youth team, he came to the first-team squad and now he got a few minutes.

“I’m happy about this. He didn’t play for a long time, but he was in and had two good actions.”

Sesane, who is a central defender by trade, was named among the substitutes with experienced centre backs Thulani Hlatshwayo and Happy Jele absent.

The 19-year-old was promoted from Pirates’ reserve team prior to the start of the season having excelled in the Diski Challenge. 

Forgotten Zambian winger Austin Muwowo also played his first game under Zinnbauer at Pirates when he came on a substitute – replacing Terrance Dzvukamanja. 

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“Mumu [Muwowo] came in and had a good game. He had opportunities to score,” the German mentor continued. 

“Mundiele [Makusu] is working in the front, he gave us a lot of space for the other players and that’s good because we have a team that is coming closer and closer.”

DRC Congo international Makusu grabbed an assist when he set-up Thembankosi Lorch for the winning goal.

“The guys that were not in before had a good performance and we had more than one opportunity to score, we had two or three opportunities,” Zinnbauer added.

“But it is what it is, it’s football and we cannot say it was a bad result, we had the possibility for more goals, but we got one and it is a good result for me.”

Pirates will travel to Loftus Versfeld Stadium where they are scheduled to take on their Gauteng rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in a titanic PSL match on January 2.

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They will then host Esperanca in the second-leg match on January 6. 

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