Brighton Mhlongo dons number 16 at the goals while Oupa Manyisa dons the armband as Orlando Pirates head out to the field of play for the first time since the fall of Senzo Meyiwa

Brighton Mhlongo dons number 16 at the goals while Oupa Manyisa dons the armband as Orlando Pirates heads out to the field of play for the first time since the fall of Senzo Meyiwa. Google+

Oupa Manyisa as Captain and Brighton Mhlongo as GoalkeeperA clearly not ready and disorganized Orlando Pirates looked troubled from the moment they exited the bus at Orlando Stadium on Saturday afternoon of November 8, 2014.

The last time they exited the bus Senzo Meyiwa was to lead them on the field in a match against Ajax Cape Town.

The 23 year old Brighton Mhlongo could not have been called to the starting line up at the worst time, this already a period where the Orlando outfit faced a telling struggle in finding consistency.

In Senzo Meyiwa‘s final match before he was shot and killed, coach Vladimir Vermezović surprised many Orlando Pirates faithfuls when he brought back Rooi Mahamutsa to the starting line-up.  Furthermore, Vermezović put Tlou Segolela on the bench for the first time in the 2014/15 season.

Tlou Segolela was later introduced as a substitute; in that match Orlando Pirates was reminiscent of the squad that on embark on a dominance campaign of the 2010/11 and 2011/12 season winning six cups along the way.

Following the death of Senzo Meyiwa Orlando Pirates missed one match – Absa Premiership round 11 – excluding round 10 of which all fixtures were postponed.

On Saturday November 8, 2014 Orlando Pirates returned to Orlando to face Supersport United in the 2014 Telkom Knockout  semi-final match.

A jittery young goalkeeper, a dejected squad and a no nonsense Gordon Igesund at the helm of Supersport United.

Goals from Lebogang Manyama and Dove Wome were enough to see Gordon Igesund‘s Supersport United overcome Orlando Pirates 2-0 and progress to the final where they will face the winner of the match between Platinum Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns.

If today’s match was indicative of anything, it is that Orlando Pirates players face a dark road ahead and they will need to find a source of inspiration sooner than later.

In the wake of their Cairo defeat at the hands of Al Ahly in the 2013 CAF Champions League Final Benni McCarthy remarked that as good as the team may have been the presence of stronger characters would have gone a long way towards securing the second champions league title – citing Lucky Lekgwathi as one of such characters.

In the wake of Senzo Meyiwa’s death Benni McCarthy’s words are at their truest.

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