Pirates in tough opener against Setif in Ghana

Bucs determined to emulate Downs, Chiefs CAF exploits

Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 Match between Orlando Pirates v Bloemfontein Celtic on the 02 March 2021 at Orlando Stadium.
Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership 2020/21 Match between Orlando Pirates v Bloemfontein Celtic on the 02 March 2021 at Orlando Stadium.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs' CAF Champions’ League group stage victories at the weekend will serve as a motivation for Orlando Pirates to get their Confederation Cup campaign off to a winning start.

It is now the Pirates' turn to see what they can do in the Confederation Cup group stages as their Group A opening game against ES Setif of Algeria at the Accra Sports Stadium in Ghana tomorrow (9pm SA time).

Sundowns were successful in Lubumbashi, DR Congo, when they defeated TP Mazembe 2-1 in Group B and Amakhosi registered a 2-0 victory over Petro Atletico de Luanda,  Angola, in Group C at the FNB Stadium at the weekend.

Bucs coach said it is good that SA teams won their respective Champions League matches, but he does not want to put too much pressure on his team going into their first group stage match.

“My team is focusing on the next game. I am happy when Sundowns and Chiefs win in Africa, but our focus is on the next game. It is going to be a difficult one. We have to recover and see who is available to play. We have to fly out to Ghana," said Zinnbauer.

The German tactician said when the other local teams do well in Africa, it increases self-confidence and improves the standard of players in the country. “We get more self-confidence if the other teams are doing well and we get better players in the country and the league. Tomorrow, when we go to Ghana we represent SA and the other teams did well before us," he said.

The return of Tshegofatso Mabasa and Gabadinho Mhango has given the coach more options going into the game.

“We will see which player is fit and I am happy that the injured players are back. We have more options to choose from for the Setif game," said Zinnabuer.

The Buccaneers are in the company of Enyimba of Nigeria and Al-Ahli Benghazi of Libya in Group A. When asked how he is going to juggle the league, Nedbank Cup, and Confed Cup, the 50-year-old mentor said it will present the players with an exciting challenge to play in different competitions. “It’s good for the players as it will motivate them to play more games," he added.

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