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Olisa Ndah's return can be a crowd puller in Nigeria - Pirates coach Fadlu Davids

Olisa Ndah of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership match against Sekhukhune United on 2 November 2021 at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Olisa Ndah of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership match against Sekhukhune United on 2 November 2021 at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published May 17, 2022

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Johannesburg - Co-coach Fadlu Davids is banking on the return of Olisa Ndah to the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium to inspire the Nigerian faithful to rally behind Orlando Pirates, when they face RS Berkane in the Caf Confederation Cup final in the West African nation.

Pirates might have blown hot and cold in domestic football after missing out on all the trophies, but they’ve been on superb form on the continent, having breezed through the qualifiers, group stage and knockout stage to reach the final.

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They beat Al Ahli Tripoli 2-1 on aggregate over the two-legged semi-final, having won away 2-0, thanks to goals from Innocent Maela and Goodman Mosele, before losing 1-0 in the return leg at Orlando Stadium on Sunday night.

RS Berkane, meanwhile, reached the promised land in style. They triumphed 4-2 on aggregate in their two-legged semi-final against TP Mazembe as they  won 4-1 at home in the return leg, overturning the 1-0 deficit they conceded away.

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The Moroccans are favourites heading to the final as they were champions two years ago. And that’s why the Bucs will need all the backing that they can get in the stands if they are going to go a step better than the 2015 final in Tunisia.

In their squad, Pirates have Nigerian centre-back Ndah to serve as a crowd puller. Ndah has fond memories of Godswill Akpabio International as he won the league with Akwa United at the same venue last term before joining the Bucs.

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“We are quite happy because it’s a neutral venue. If the final was in Morocco, it would have been a different story. So we are quite happy,” said Fadlu, at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday morning ahead of Friday’s final.

“I urge the Nigeria supporters to come and support us. Their prodigal son, Ndah, returns to their stadium. We are playing at the Akwa Stadium where he won the league before joining Pirates. We hope the Nigerians will get behind us at the stadium.

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“We hope to have the extra 12th man in the stands at the stadium. So, we are hoping that they come out in numbers. A neutral venue could become our home ground. So, we are quite happy with the venue.”

Ndah has been solid for Pirates since joining the club at the beginning of the season. So much so that his stellar outing has kicked former Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo out of the team as he partners captain Happy Jele in defence.

@Mihlalibaleka

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