Ghanaian goalkeeper Richard Ofori made what could perhaps be his first costly error in Orlando Pirates against Baroka on Saturday, and has been defended by coach Josef Zinnbauer.
The former Maritzburg United shot-stopper failed to grasp the ball inside the box from a set-piece, allowing Namibian international Ananias Gebhardt to toe the ball in for the opener in the match which ended in a 1-1 scoreline at Orlando Stadium.
Josef Zinnbauer comes to Ofori’s defence
The 27-year-old has, since he arrived at the Soweto Giants, been one of the more reliable players, keeping clean sheets in half his appearances for the club.
His latest conceded goal may as well be one of the more costly, as it denied Pirates a third three-point haul on the bounce. However, his German mentor has come to his defence regarding the error.
“In most cases, when a goalkeeper makes a mistake, you concede. But it’s possible in all games, and when you consider the past games, he was always in the right situation in the right moment, and he caught the ball,” said Zinnbauer after the match.
“Today he lost the ball, and it is so. He’s a player, and when a player makes a mistake, and we concede, we have to work for each other and for the result.
“We did this, but it was not enough for three points, it was enough [only for] one point. It’s not a problem for me, the goalkeeper has done very well in the past and saved us.
“Now he makes a mistake, and it is so, we accept this. It’s not normal, but it can happen, I know he’ll work on this, and he knows very well what he did, but we cannot change this situation.
“He’s a good goalkeeper. In all the past games we say always, ‘Wow, the goalkeeper saved the crosses and he’s very stable’, now he makes a small mistake.
“Even half-time he said he feels not so good, I don’t know if he got it on the bench but he made the mistake and we work for each other – we win with each other and lose with each other. The team fought for him and we got not enough, but it’s a point.”
Josef Zinnbauer, Orlando Pirates
The point earned in the encounter consolidated Orlando Pirates’ spot in third place in the standings, after winning two of their five matches, with the other matches all ending in draws.