Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer says they missed 'special players' like Happy Jele and Thembinkosi Lorch against Mamelodi Sundowns.
Pirates were unable to get revenge for the Nedbank Cup quarter-final thrashing after losing 3-0 to Sundowns at Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
"It was a tough game. Sundowns are a very good team with a lot of quality and we could feel this today. But I cannot say my team played a bad game. We played a really, really good game but this is football," Zinnbauer told SuperSport after.
"I have to watch the game again but I think from the outside it was clear my team was leading the game. We was closer to a goal than Sundowns and then they got the penalty. There was nothing before in the second half. In the first half. Yes first 10-15 minutes we needed to find our structure. It was a different system without training. We didn't have a lot of possibilities. We didn't have one training this week.
"Their defending was top. We know the quality and how they find a solution. We had chances. Could have played a final pass better. Second half the same. We were completely compact. But we had no luck. Pule and Hotto had chances. We had a lot of possibilities not so clear but we play against Sundowns. It's not possible to have 10-15 chances. The performance today was very good but the result looks very bad from the outside."
Zinnbauer bemoaned the Bucs' lengthy injury list including several experienced first-team players suited to the big occasion.
"It wasn't our defensive structure that was the problem, it was more concentration from the passing line. We have to understand we have so many injured players at the moment. We have a long travel in the last two days. We had no training session. You need the power for this game. It's always the same players on the field.
"You need special players like Happy Jele, Lorch, Dzvukamanja. They have the experience in these games."