FILE - Orlando Pirates coachJosef Zinnbauer. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
FILE - Orlando Pirates coachJosef Zinnbauer. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates ’can play without fear’ against Enyimba in Confederations Cup, says Josef Zinnbauer

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Apr 28, 2021

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The great football rivalry between South Africa and Nigeria will come to the fore again this evening when two-time CAF Champions League winners Enyimba FC host Orlando Pirates in a crucial CAF Confederations Cup Group A match at the Enyimba International Stadium, Aba, Nigeria.

All four Group A teams will be in action today, and mathematically all four teams have a realistic chance of progressing to the knockout rounds. Pirates are the only unbeaten Group A side and head the log with nine points. A win or a draw will secure passage to the next round.

ALSO READ: Blow for Enyimba ahead of must-win clash with Orlando Pirates

A defeat for third-placed Enyimba will spell the end of the road for them.

Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya are in second place with seven points.

They are up against Entente Setif of Algeria, who are rock bottom with five points.

Pirates warmed up for the trip into Africa over the weekend with a draw with Soweto rivals Moroka Swallows. Ahead of their departure, Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer said his team will draw inspiration from the stalemate against Swallows.

“We now have an important game against Enyimba in Nigeria," said Zinnbauer.

“The performance gives us hope going forward, and we can play without fear on Wednesday.

ALSO READ: Josef Zinnbauer is confident Orlando Pirates can advance in Confederations Cup

"I think the positives we are taking to the Enyimba match is that we played well against Swallows. I would be happier if we had better results to take into our next game.”

Enyimba will be without their inspirational captain and ace goalscorer Augustine Oladapo who is suspended. In his absence, Enyimba will be relying heavily on the up-and-coming star striker Anayo Iwuala to pose problems for the visiting Pirates defenders.

ALSO READ: Benni McCarthy putting ’hometown emotions’ to one side in return to Cape Town

Centreback Timothy Danladi is another notable absentee for Enyimba after he was red-carded in the last Group A match. The loss of key players could prove daunting for the Nigerians who must win.

Pirates arrived in Nigeria on Monday afternoon.

Nigerian football authorities have taken some time to decide on the venue because of Covid-19 protocols, but the Government has approved the stadium, where, according to local media, there has been a problem with the floodlighting.

The strange 11pm kick-off (SA time) isbecause all matches must be played at the same time.

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