Mbatha Reflects on First Bucs Goal

Midfielder Thalente Mbatha notched up a significant personal milestone when Orlando Pirates beat Royal AM 4-0 in their DStv Premiership game played at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday.

In an afternoon where the Soweto Giants turned in a clinical performance away from home to come away with three important points, the new recruit featured on the scoresheet for the first time since joining the Club, with Patrick Maswanganyi, Relebohile Mofokeng, and Kabelo Dlamini also finding the net.

Mbatha’s 56th-minute strike came at a crucial moment in the game and helped create daylight between the two sides after the Buccaneers had managed to take a one-goal to the break, following a tightly contested opening half. Mainly tasked with the often unseen work in the engine room throughout his career, he showcased a different dimension to his game in providing the game’s second goal when he made an excellent surge into the box to collect a neat pass from Maswanganyi before producing a composed finish to double the advantage.

Reflecting on his landmark moment in an exclusive interview, the 24-year-old shared his delight in getting off the mark in Bucs colours.

“It was a great feeling,” Mbatha told OrlandoPiratesFC.com. “It is actually a dream come true scoring my first goal for Orlando Pirates. I must thank the team, the staff and the technical team for the opportunity and support that they give me every day.”

Mbatha’s first Pirates goal came in his 10th appearance in all competitions since his January loan move from SuperSport United, where he had featured five times during the first half of the season. He describes the start of his Bucs career as a big learning opportunity and has noted some improvements in his game.

Having been brought in to bolster an already stacked midfield, the player revealed that he embraces the challenge of having to fight for his place in the starting team.

“It’s good competition,” Mbatha said. “It’s a good challenge and helps me stay on my feet and try to improve all the time. I cannot afford to make many mistakes. So I think the competition that we have in the team is healthy. We should all just play our game and whoever gets the opportunity must use it.”

Following their triumph in Pietermaritzburg, the Buccaneers have a busy week ahead. They kick it off with a midweek Premiership assignment away to Cape Town City before voyaging along the coast for a stop in Gqeberha for a Nedbank Cup semifinal clash against Chippa United on the weekend.

Mbatha says the team’s immediate focus is the trip to the Mother City, where they will be looking to add three more points to their league tally.

“As the coach says, we take each game as it comes,” he said. “We take it one day at a time. I think we should prepare ourselves mentally and physically. It’s not going to be an easy game as we are playing away. If we do play the football we want and do what the coach tells us, we’ll definitely come back with the three points.”

Pirates’ game against City takes place on Wednesday, kicking off at 15:00.

Share the Post: