Orlando Pirates defender Olisah Ndah has reflected on the Soweto Derby’s nightmare, saying it did not take long to be out of his system, after nullifying Mamelodi Sundowns’ onslaught in the MTN8 final triumph at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
Ndah had a nightmare Derby against Kaizer Chiefs on 25 February at FNB Stadium, misjudging the flight of the ball to head it in his own net for an own goal in the 89th minute and that was enough to see Amakhosi win the much-loved match in SA’s domestic calendar.
It was a game that, just like the MTN8 final, where Ndah arrived off the bench when he replaced Thembinkosi Lorch in the 65th minute.
After that Ndah was nowhere to be seen and was pictured on crutches. He did not play ever since then although he has been on the bench for the past matches.
But on Saturday after Nkosinathi Sibisi, twinned with Thapelo Xoki at the back, clashed heads with Mothobi Mvala, the former Golden Arrows captain had to be taken off in the 34th minute.
However, the Nigerian international, who also missed the World Cup finals in Qatar due to that injury for the Super Eagles, was at his best for Pirates, intercepted many balls away and also, unlike in the Derby, heading balls away from the goals of Sipho Chaine and featured in 86 minutes including extra time.
“Concerning what you said in the first question (with fans being unhappy at the own goal), I don’t think it affected – it was just a couple of days,” said Ndah at the press conference.
“I wasn’t fully focused on what was going on outside. So what was important was my teammates (who supported me) and to come back stronger. It is a healthy team, healthy competition.”
But Ndah admitted that it has not been easy to be on the sidelines.
“It has been difficult for me and I want to say thank you to the coaching staff, the physios for helping me through everything and I’m happy to be back and to contribute to the team,” he said.
Ndah, since he arrived to join Pirates from Akwa United in the Nigerian Premier League ahead of the 2021/22 season, has featured in 49 matches for the Soweto giants and is yet to score a goal.