Orlando Pirates fans expecting an onslaught against Kaizer Chiefs this Saturday, similar to the one against Zamalek in the CAF Champions League at the weekend, should not get their hopes up.
Pirates visit FNB Stadium to take on Soweto rivals Chiefs in the MTN8 first leg semifinal tie and De Sa, on a high after the 4-1 mauling of the five-time African champions in Orlando, said the Buccaneers will approach the match with caution, similar to the last three clashes against Amakhosi.
“You must remember we will play three hours of football against Chiefs. When the 90 minutes are over it will be half-time. You can’t just go crazy. You’ve got to be pretty cautious. Usually first legs of two-legged encounters are played cautiously. Two top teams who play each other in the first leg are a bit cagey. It’s going to carry through to the second round.
“We had a couple of knocks, but I’m sure players will be back because they want to play in this match. I just hope we can continue with our form. It will be easy to motivate the players.”
One of the players De Sa hopes will make a return is Andile Jali, who was stretchered off the pitch against Zamalek.
“Hopefully he will be okay for the weekend. He gave me the signal that he wanted to come off because the pain was too bad. He wanted to try and run it off, that’s why it took a bit longer to take him off. I don’t think it was a muscle tear,” said De Sa.
Keeping a clean sheet away from home would put them in a good position for the second leg on September 24 and De Sa could not be happier that match will be played at Orlando Stadium – the first time the derby will be staged at the venue since 2010.
De Sa feels the Buccaneers will finally have some home ground advantage, even though a potential 50000 fans will be deprived of watching the game live at the stadium.
For the last three years, including the MTN8 semifinal two-legged clash in 2010, the derby has been played at FNB Stadium, a venue that’s usually sold out when they meet. The Orlando Stadium seats 40000 spectators, far less than the 2010 World Cup final venue, which has a capacity of over 90000.
“It’s important that we come home. I’m pretty happy with that decision. All you do is close the doors when the 40000 people are inside. That happens all over the world. You can only fit the tickets that you tell, so it’s got to be the same thing at Orlando.
“There’s got to be some home advantage for us. They (Chiefs) have their stadium and we’ve got ours. I think it’s a positive way forward,” the coach said.
De Sa meanwhile confirmed the signing of former Golden Arrows striker Thamsanqa Gabuza, a player he has been chasing for a while. Gabuza joins Lennox Bacela and Kermit Erasmus, players the Buccaneers have signed in the hope that they’ll solve the scoring problems at the club – Collins Mbesuma was the top scorer in the league last season with a measly six goals.
“We have signed Gabuza and he will be knocking on the door. It’s good to have competition amongst the strikers. To be honest I wanted him when I was still with Wits, but I could not get him. I’m happy to have him. I don’t think he is final product, but he wants to learn and he can offer a lot.
“We are striving to have the very best attack but it’s going to take some time.”
Gabuza, De Sa confirmed, will not be ready to take on Amakhosi this weekend.