PSL: Things didn’t look good for Pirates after you had Edwin Gyimah sent off and found Sundowns upping the pressure in extra time during last weekend’s Nedbank Cup quarter-final game. How did it feel to be the hero on the night, breaking the deadlock yourself before setting up Mpho Makola for the second?
Tendai Ndoro: It was a great feeling, to have been able to help the club achieve what we wanted to – to keep our cup dream alive. It’s a big boost for the club to go through, we won’t relax now.
You May Also Like: Sundowns’ another giant Nedbank clash for Orlando Pirates
We showed great character, we showed what Orlando Pirates is all about, showing fight and spirit to come back after the red card. We doubled our efforts, we tried to stop Sundowns from playing their short passing game, forcing them to play longer balls, and then hoping to hit them on the counter, which is what we did.
PSL: What went through your mind as you found yourself racing onto that long ball, clean through on goal with only the Sundowns keeper to beat?
Tendai Ndoro: I told myself, this is the opportunity for me to take us through to the next round, I have to be focussed and take this chance. I saw the keeper covering the near post as they usually do, which is why I went for the far post. Denis [Onyango] is a good keeper, a tall keeper, so I had to get the shot down and past him and fortunately I caught it right and it ended up in the corner.
PSL:What is the secret to be a successful striker, and who do you look to for inspiration?
Tendai Ndoro: For a striker, it’s all about being composed in front of goal, utilizing the chances that come your way, that is what you are judged on. Internationally, the player I look up to is Christiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid, he has everything.
PSL: Have you managed to forge good relationships with your team’s other strikers?
Tendai Ndoro: I have enjoyed playing with Lehlohonolo Majoro, he is a great professional, and we have good support for each other. Thamsanqa Gabuza too, we have a good relationship and I enjoy playing with him, we have a squad full of quality players and anyone can do a good job on the day.
PSL: Expectations amongst the Pirates fans are no doubt high. It must have been difficult earlier in the season when results were not forthcoming?
Tendai Ndoro: Of course there is huge pressure at Pirates, it’s a very big club, and results are expected. We were not winning and we were not scoring enough goals. It was a challenge for us as players to up our efforts and turn things around, and it feels like now we have turned the corner and are playing like we are capable of.
PSL: After netting against former club Aces in a 3-1 win back in February, you have been a pretty regular visitor the back of the net! What was the turning point for you?
Tendai Ndoro: In the first half of the season I didn’t play regularly. Then after scoring against Aces, I told myself that I can do it, that I can score more goals. Then came the match against Kaizer Chiefs (a 2-0 win in the Nedbank Cup), I started the game and I was able to get a brace, that was definitely the turning point for me.
PSL:Now only Free State Stars stand between Pirates and a shot at making the Nedbank Cup final and earning some silverware…
Tendai Ndoro: In We lost to them in the league away from home earlier this year, so they still owe us one; our plan is to go to the final, we are highly motivated, and we will give everything to make that happen.