Pirates happy with their homework on Angola's Esperança: 'We have the information that we need'

Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates celebrates goal with teammates during the MTN8 final match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Durban, South Africa.
Thembinkosi Lorch of Orlando Pirates celebrates goal with teammates during the MTN8 final match between Bloemfontein Celtic and Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium on December 12, 2020 in Durban, South Africa.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackPagePix/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has done his homework on little-known Angola side Sagrada Esperança and knows what to expect when the two sides meet in a Caf Confederation Cup second preliminary stage match next week.

The Buccaneers take on Esperança at the Estádio dos Coqueiros in Luanda on Tuesday and will be determined to start their campaign on a positive note after they got a bye in the first qualification stage.

Esperança also had easy passage to this stage of the competition after their first round opponents Mbabane Swallows of Eswatini pulled out of the competition for financial reasons.

Zinnbauer said they have managed to obtain footage of their obscure opponents and he believes they are not going to be easy to overcome in their own backyard.

“We have information about the team and we know what we have to do against them‚” said Zinnbauer.

“It is not going to be an easy game for us because away games are always difficult on the continent. The opponent is not so bad and they look good because I have watched them together with the other coaches when we were analysing them.”

Pirates ended their domestic programme for the year with an impressive 1-0 win over Chippa United on Wednesday night.

Zinnbauer said now that they have completed their domestic assignments for the year‚ their focus will be on the trip to Angola and they have a good idea of what awaits them in Luanda.

“We have the information that we need.

"Focus was on the match against Chippa [on Wednesday] and from Thursday we start with preparations for our next game against them [the Angolans].”

Looking back to the win over Chippa‚ which moved Pirates to third place on the standings‚ Zinnbauer said it was not easy in the second half even though they had numerical advantage after Chippa player Sandile Mthethwa saw red.

“It is always difficult to play against a team that has ten men because they get new power‚ and they fight and work more than they did before knowing that they are short in terms of numbers. It is not easy but the important thing is that we won the match.

“I am also happy for our goal scorer Fortune Makaringe because he had a good performance overall. He was very good without the ball and earned his salary for his goal and a solid all-round performance.”

Chippa coach Lehlohonolo Seema praised his players for holding their own despite playing with a man down.

“I am proud of the boys because they worked very hard‚ it is just unfortunate that they couldn’t get a point after working so hard with a man short.

"I want to see how we conceded the goal.

"I think we were getting frustrated because they were not penetrating us‚ so we wanted to explore.

“I had some players who went out of their zones‚ and because of that we gave them a lot of space. Once you open up against a team like Pirates‚ you are asking for trouble.”