Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer was an unexpected figure in the dugout as his side beat rivals Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 to progress to the MTN 8 final via a 5-0 aggregate score.
The German mentor had left the country to be with his son Fabio, who is in a coma after being involved in a horror car accident.
Josef Zinnbauer sheds light on surprise return
After not being part of the club’s preparations for their midweek fixture against Bloemfontein Celtic, where assistant coach Fadlu Davids took charge and guided the team to a 1-0 win, Zinnbauer was expected to return at a later stage.
However, he made a surprise return in time to see his side asserting their dominance against their biggest rivals.
During what is a trying time for the 50-year-old and his family, he thanked all those who expressed support throughout the week.
It’s unbelievable, it’s fantastic for me and my family, I share the words with my family and we get a lot of energy, thank you for this, thank you to the Chairman [Khoza] for letting me go.
“The reason [for coming back so soon] was that my son is still fighting for his life but at the moment he is in a coma, and I can do nothing for him at the moment,” he told Supersport TV after the game. “But we have to see what’s happening in the next days, we pray for him and we give him the energy that we get from everyone else, from the whole South Africa maybe, that’s my feeling.”
Josef ZInnbauer, Orlando Pirates coach
Orlando Pirates now take a lengthy break, thanks to the international window, before returning to action at home to Supersport United in a league fixture on 21 November.
They will face Bloemfontein Celtic in the MTN 8 final, with the date of the fixture still to be confirmed.