Thembinkosi Lorch: Sundowns Boss Rulani Mokwena Evaluates Midfielder’s Debut Against Ex-club Pirates

Thembinkosi Lorch: Sundowns Boss Rulani Mokwena Evaluates Midfielder’s Debut Against Ex-club Pirates

Robert Abong'o
February 18, 2024 at 8:18 AM
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  • Coach Rulani Mokwena acknowledges the challenges Thembinkosi Lorch faced in his debut
  • Lorch debuted for Mamelodi Sundowns against his former club, Orlando Pirates in the PSL
  • The midfielder played for an hour before being taken off for new signing Matías Esquivel

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach, Rulani Mokwena, has weighed in on Thembinkosi Lorch's first appearance in a highly anticipated face-off against his former club, Orlando Pirates, on Saturday, February 17.

Given his past association with the Buccaneers, Lorch's debut for Sundowns was eagerly anticipated.

Despite the pressure, the 30-year-old was named in the starting lineup, which ended in a tense 1-1 draw against a 10-man Pirates at the packed Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Thembinkosi Lorch has made his debut for Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: @iDiskiTimes.
Thembinkosi Lorch made his Mamelodi Sundowns debut against former club Orlando Pirates. Photo: @iDiskiTimes.
Source: Twitter

The 30-year-old winger made headlines with his unexpected move in January after an illustrious eight-year tenure with the Sea Robbers, amassing 176 appearances, 34 goals, and 30 assists.

Wearing jersey number 45, Lorch played for 60 minutes before being substituted by another newcomer, Argentine midfielder Matías Esquivel from Club Atlético Lanús.

The 24-year-old Argentine midfielder Esquivel signed a 4-and-a-half-year deal, as reported by Goal.

Mokwena acknowledged the challenges faced by the midfielder, citing the pressure of meeting his former club as a significant factor that may have affected his performance.

"We can all do better, starting with the coach, and of course, even with the new signings, we can do better Also, with Lorch, the pressure, the talks, his former club and all the other things also did not help him," Mokswena said as quoted on Far Post.

Mokwena stressed the need for patience as the new signings adapt to the league's intensity and Sundowns' style of play, acknowledging the language barrier as an additional challenge for some players.

Commenting ahead of the showdown, Lorch acknowledged the emotional challenge of facing his former team.

Despite taking the lead through Marcelo Allende, Sundowns conceded an equalizer from the penalty spot, courtesy of Tapelo Xoki, while Miguel Timm received a red card after a second bookable offence, as reported by Sunday World.

Rulani Mokwena hails Orlando Pirates over Thembinkosi Lorch

Sports Brief reported that Rulani Mokwena showered praise on Orlando Pirates over the signing of the Lorch during the winter transfer window.

The South African midfielder made a deadline-day move to the DStv Premiership champions.

The late move caught many South Africans by surprise, as the superstar was tipped to stay with the Bucs.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
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