Ncikazi warns Bucs against complacency in return leg

Win against Al Ahly Tripoli doesn't guarantee final berth, says coach

10 May 2022 - 07:17
By Neville Khoza
Mohamed Aleyat of Al Ahli Tripoli challenges Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates during the CAF Confederation Cup 2021/22 Semifinal 1st Leg match between Al Ahli Tripoli and Orlando Pirates held at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benina, Libya.
Image: Abbas Farda/BackpagePix Mohamed Aleyat of Al Ahli Tripoli challenges Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates during the CAF Confederation Cup 2021/22 Semifinal 1st Leg match between Al Ahli Tripoli and Orlando Pirates held at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benina, Libya.

Orlando Pirates may seemingly have one foot in the CAF Confederation Cup final following their 2-0 victory against Al Ahly Tripoli in the semifinal first leg away but coach Mandla Ncikazi insists they will have to treat the return leg seriously to avoid any complacency.

Having a two away-goal advantage courtesy of Innocent Maela and Goodman Mosele strikes means the Buccaneers will be favoured to progress to the final.

However, Ncikazi warned that the Libyans were capable of turning it around in the return leg and that Pirates must not take them for granted at Orlando Stadium on Sunday at 6pm.

“The game is not over, it is halftime. We are only leading and when we get back home we will treat the match very seriously,” Ncikazi told the media after the match in Libya.

“It is important to understand the dynamics of African football. A goal away is important. One, we will treat the match as 0-0 and respect them because they are a good team.

“Try and progress to the next round. But we are not going to change anything by doing less, but we are just going to prepare for a very good team.”

It was one of the best performances Pirates showed this season and Ncikazi was pleased with the attitude his players showed.

“We played a very good team in Tripoli tactically. They can play direct, they are very skillful but one must give credit to our players,” he said. 

“I’m just happy and proud of our team for the win away from home. It was important to score and get a result.

“I thought we should have scored more goals. I thought we applied ourselves so well against a good team.

“I’m just proud of the team today that they came to the party and executed what we expected from them. I’m just greedy because we should have scored more goals so we know we are settled.”

Ncikazi added that they won’t do anything differently in their preparations for the return leg.

“I’m gracious, we are still having the two goals and we just have to work on that and try to get into the final by playing well at home.

“CAF competition is different from the league. We are also in the same situation as to how we perform in the league and this competition.

“So we don’t want to be surprised, we are just going to prepare normally. We are going to prepare for the champions of Libya because we say they are a threat.”