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Pirates coach ready to quit after thrashing

Johannesburg (AFP) – Orlando Pirates’ Turkish coach Muhsin Ertugral says he will offer his resignation after a 6-1 South African Premiership thrashing from SuperSport United on Tuesday. 

The defeat at rain-drenched Mbombela Stadium in north-eastern city Nelspruit was the heaviest all-competitions loss suffered by the Soweto Buccaneers since 1990.

“I will offer my resignation to the chairman of the club tomorrow (Wednesday),” Ertugral said after watching previously unbeaten Pirates hammered having led 1-0 at half-time in a matchday 8 fixture.

“The coaches are responsible for what occurs on the field and I am ashamed of what happened to this great club tonight.

“I have never witnessed such a disastrous 45 minutes by any club I have managed in my career,” admitted the 57-year-old who joined Pirates for the 2016-17 season.

Born in Istanbul, Ertugral has coached five other South African top-flight outfits, clubs in Egypt and Tunisia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo national team.

SuperSport, who have not seriously challenged for the title since winning three championships in a row between 2008 and 2010, scored only eight goals in seven other league matches this season.

The stunning success moved the Pretoria club up two places to second on the table, one point behind Wits, who edged Chippa United 1-0 in Soweto.

“I had a few harsh words to say at half-time,” admitted England-born SuperSport coach Stuart Baxter. “We were conceding possession cheaply.

“We were much better in the second half, on and off the ball. We expect to beat big clubs like Pirates occasionally, but to win by five goals is the stuff of dreams.”

New Zealanders Michael Boxall (two) and Jeremy Brockie were among the SuperSport scorers with the other goals coming from Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thuso Phala and Bradley Grobler. 

Zimbabwean Tendai Ndoro put Pirates ahead two minutes before half-time and had a penalty saved by Ronwen Williams with his club five goals behind.

Malawian Frank ‘Gabadinho’ Mhango headed the 53rd-minute goal that settled a cagey clash between unbeaten Wits and off-form Chippa.  

Each team had only one attempt on target before Mhango soared to nod a cross from Mozambican Elias ‘Domingues’ Pelembe wide of Nigerian goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi.

The leaders played in Soweto because their home ground is in a university campus where there have been violent clashes recently between police and students demanding free education.

Wits have 16 points, SuperSport 15 and Kaizer Chiefs and Golden Arrows, who both play Wednesday, 14 each. Pirates and Chippa lie seventh and eighth respectively.

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