Independent Online

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Orlando Pirates won’t rest on their laurels because of ‘dynamics of African football’

Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates is fouled during their CAF Confederation Cup semi-final against Al Ahli Tripoli. Picture: Abbas Farda/BackpagePix

Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates is fouled during their CAF Confederation Cup semi-final against Al Ahli Tripoli. Picture: Abbas Farda/BackpagePix

Published May 9, 2022

Share

Durban - Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi warned his players to guard against complacency after they grabbed the initiative in the first leg of their CAF Confederations Cup semi-final against Al Ahli Tripoli.

The Buccaneers put in a classic away performance against the Libyan side in Tripoli, and have put themselves in prime position to qualify for their second ever final in the competition via goals from Innocent Maela and Goodman Mosele.

Story continues below Advertisement

"The game is not over, this is just halftime. We are only leading because they can go to South Africa and do the same to us,“ Ncikazi said.

“We will treat the game very seriously because we understand the dynamics of African football, an away goal is very important.

"We will afford them the respect they deserve in the second leg but not to the extent that it alters the way we play and how much we want to impose ourselves on the game, we'll just prepare for a good team."

The Bucaneers were expectedly denied the majority of the possession but looked a real threat on the counter, registering a total of 19 attempts on goal, seven of those on target.

Story continues below Advertisement

Ncikazi expressed his immense pride in how his charges performed, but also pointed to a few key elements in their finishing.

"I thought we should've scored more goals. We applied ourselves very well to a very good team. I'm just very proud of my team," he said.

Story continues below Advertisement

"My boys came to the party and executed everything as we planned. I'm just being greedy because if we had gotten more goals we'd be more settled but I'm grateful for the two goals and hopefully we can get to the final by playing well at home. "

The Confederations Cup is the Orlando Pirates last hope of a trophy this season after they were bundled out in both the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup.

Story continues below Advertisement

Although Pirates have one of the better squads in the local game, the Johannesburg-based club have not come close to the standards required to challenge Mamelodi Sundowns in the league.

But Ncikazi's men are in a better position to finish off the season on a high note right now, being able to field the likes of Thembinkosi Lorch, Deon Hotto and Goodman Mosele all at the same time.

@SmisoMsomi16

Share