Zinnbauer lauds progress of Chiefs, Downs in CAF
Bucs mentor relishes last-eight spot in Confed Cup
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer has spoken about the significance of emulating Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs by also qualifying for the quarterfinals of the CAF Confed Cup, where they top Group A with two games to spare.
Sundowns and Chiefs qualified for the Champions League last eight. Now Pirates aim to take a leaf out of these two fellow SA clubs’ book by progressing to the Confed Cup quarterfinals.
The Buccaneers took a giant stride towards reaching the last eight after beating Libyan side Al Ahli Benghazi 3-0 at Orlando Stadium on Sunday. The victory, earned through goals by Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Tshegofatso Mabasa and Kabelo Dlamini, put table-toping Bucs on eight points, two behind Nigeria side Enyimba.
“Congratulations to these teams (Sundowns and Chiefs). We know it’s not easy competing in continental competitions, especially playing away. We also have a chance [to book a slot in the Confed Cup quarterfinals],’’ said Zinnbauer.
“We want to do it for South Africa. We want the last eight spot for the club, for our supporters. It’s very important to also qualify and we feel we have a great chance to do it. Our supporters would be very happy to see us going to the quarterfinals.’’
Pirates’ task at hand is the Nedbank Cup quarterfinal clash against defending champs Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Thursday (6pm). Should Pirates prevail, they’ll face Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Sunday in the last four, meaning this could be a demanding week for them.
“We’re playing against the best team at the moment [referring to Downs], but in football you always have a chance. This is a special week and a top week for us,’’ noted the Sea Robbers trainer.
Zinnbauer was also on cloud nine to see Mabasa and Dlamini on the score sheet.
“I am happy for Mabasa, he has been out for some time…it's good he gets among the goals. But he's not 100% yet. I'm happy for the other guys too, Dlamini also. These are the things that we like to see,’’ Zinnbauer said.
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