Pirates need to ‘finish what they started’

As Orlando Pirates’ second African inter-club championship trophy beckons, following their comfortable CAF Confederation Cup first leg 2-0 victory away to Al Ahli Tripoli, Bucs’ former star is of the view that there should not be any drastic changes to the team that did the job at Benina Martyrs Stadium, in Benghazi, Libya, last Sunday.

The ball is now in the court of co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids, and in the hands of the team of the day to finish what they started after Innocent Maela and Goodman Mosele put the Buccaneers in good stead against their Libyan opponents.

What is rather interesting is Al Ahli have a good record as travellers, having been undefeated in their past three away encounters. However, the defeat to
Pirates ended their seven-match unbeaten run in CAF’s second-most lucrative competition after the Champions League,  also the African equivalent of the Uefa Europa League.

Bafana Bafana and Pirates veteran defender Edward |“Magents” Motale believes the two away goals are a good cushion going into today’s second-leg match at Orlando Stadium, with kickoff at 6pm. “They must not sit on their laurels but go for at least two goals while ensuring they do not concede. The mindset must be like it is a fresh start, goalless, that’s how they will conquer their opponent. What would happen if Pirates does not score and the visitors manage to score two goals?

“The coaches must not change the team, except if there are injuries. It’s a matter of finishing off the job they started, they already have both legs in the final match, which, of course, will be at a neutral venue. The secret of these tournaments is to try to win away or draw to alleviate the pressure at home, which they did comfortably.”

Motale said if the Sea Robbers qualify for the final, they must expect a hostile reception from both the fans of their opponents, as well as the home fans who will support the opposition instead of them. The 1995 African champions and 1996 Super Cup winners could meet Morocco’s RSB Berkane or Tanzania’s TP Mazembe in the final.

“The final could be in North Africa, the Pirates technical team must do their homework. I wish them all the best against Al Ahli because it is now 27 years since Pirates last won on the continent.”

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Xolile Mtshazo

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