Thembinkosi Lorch, the catalyst Pirates needed
Since making his return from injury against All Stars FC in the Nedbank Cup last 32, Orlando Pirates midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch has been the catalyst the team needed in the remaining matches of the DSTV Premiership campaign.
The midfield maestro has really worked his way to the top again at the Buccaneers after a lengthy spell being sidelined due to injury.
In the past seven matches he has featured for Pirates since returning from injury, the Soweto giants have won six matches and only lost one to arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto derby on the 25th of February 2023.
Lorch has been influential upfront for Pirates scoring two crucial goals including the winner against Venda Football Academy in extra time of the last 16 encounter at the Orlando Stadium last month.
Lorch was at it again last weekend displaying a stellar performance that earned him the man of the match accolade as Pirates defeated Richards Bay FC 2-0 at the King Zwelithini Stadium to move second on the log with 40 points.
It goes without saying that he is the man that can inspire the team to finishing the log as runners up and automatically qualify for next season's CAF Champions League because he can play under pressure and he can also rise to the occasion when the team needs someone to revive their performance.
Lorch's exceptional performance of late has seen him make it to the starting XI for the Buccaneers on six consecutive occasions, that being evident enough that head coach Jose Riveiro and his technical team have the much needed confidence in Lorch.
"I needed to push the guys and by doing that, I had to play very well so that they could also join me play well too," Lorch said during his post match interview against Richards Bay FC.
With Pirates still in the hunt for their second domestic trophy this season after winning the MTN 8 last year, Lorch will definitely be one of the players to step up again when Pirates face Dondol Stars in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup next weekend at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The 29 year old as he has often done in the Nedbank Cup so far, will be aiming to score another goal and take his goalscoring tally in the Nedbank Cup this season to three goals.
If there is a player Riveiro can bank on for the progression of Pirates in the tournament, that will have to be 'Nyoso' as he is affectionately called by many that always rally behind him.
The 2019 South African Player of the Season and Players' Player of the Season has also seen his combination with Monnapule Saleng producing the goods for Riveiro's charges.
In his man of the match interview after defeating All Stars in the last 32 of the Nedbank Cup, Saleng described Lorch as a professional footballer with a great wealth of football experience.
Pirates will next travel to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday the 8th of April 2023 for a date with Chippa United.
Kick-off in that encounter is at 15:00 in the afternoon.