FILE - Siyabonga Mpontshane of Orlando Pirates during the 2021 CAF Confederation Cup match against ES Setif. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
FILE - Siyabonga Mpontshane of Orlando Pirates during the 2021 CAF Confederation Cup match against ES Setif. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates suffer a blow ahead of Confederations Cup match against Enyimba

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Apr 29, 2021

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JOHANNEBSURG - Orlando Pirates might be a point away from qualifying for the quarterfinals of the Caf Confederation Cup, but their aspirations could be in serious jeopardy, given that they’ll be without a reserve goalkeeper for their last group stage match against Enyimba.

The Bucs will be in action against the Nigerians on Wednesday night (11pm kick-off), with their fate of qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition still in their hands as they are at the summit of Group A with nine points from the last five matches in the group.

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

Although they might be leading the pack, Pirates are not out of the woods yet. A healthy scoring win for Enyimba could bring a lifeline to the rest of the teams in the group, given that Ahli Benghazi and ES Setif who’ll also clash this evening still have a chance at qualifying.

The Bucs will have to cross their fingers and hope that Wayne Sandilands will be able to start and finish the match. The veteran goalkeeper is without a reserve on the bench – with Siyabonga Mpontshane and Richard Ofori clearly still not fit to have made the final squad.

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

Mpontshane and Ofori sustained respective injuries in the last few weeks, with coach Josef Zinnbauer forced to have the young Elson Sithole, 20, on the bench during their 1-all draw with Swallows FC in their last league match on home soil.

But with the two Caf squad registration windows having closed – unlike in domestic football where junior players can still be registered throughout the season amid Covid-19 implications – Pirates will be forced to look to an outfield player should anything happen to Sandilands.

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