By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
ORLANDO Pirates are remaining calm ahead of the all important first leg of the CAF Champions League match at home against Egyptian giants, Al Alhly.
The match will take place at the Orlando Stadium (kick-off at 8.15pm) and head coach, Roger de Sa said it will be a sad day to lose in this two legged final match after having came this far.
“We have had a week long to prepare for this match, and I don’t see any reason why we can’t finish what we have started. It is a fact that Al Ahly are the tough side, especially with their good history in this tournament but we have what it take to match them pounds for pounds after having beaten them away before we could hold them to a draw at home,” pointed out De Sa.
Our only worry, added De Sa: “Is that we are sure that they have been spying us from our domestic games while we couldn’t do the same thing as they are not involved in any league matches or official competitive action which makes it bit difficult for us,” added De Sa who mince no words in saying that his priorities are on this competition, then the Absa Premiership as his second priority.
De Sa who has asked the South African football fans to come and rally behind the team on match day said his players are fully aware what is at stake in this match, and they will make this country proud.
“This is a big game and not for only Pirates but the country as a whole, so I am appealing to all fans across the country to come and support us as we attempt to add the second star to our credit, something which the club has been waiting for the past 18 years,” said De Sa
About the safety threat in Egypt in the returned leg, De Sa said: “That’s not much of a concern because we have been to a very hostile areas than Egypt here in Africa, and more over we hope that’s for both CAF and FIFA to take care.”
Pirates are still fresh from a 1-1 draw against traditional arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs over the past week and they are expected to keep the momentum ahead of this big one against the Egyptian side.
Pirates’s umber one goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa has been at his best and has save the mighty Buccaneers from danger on many occasions during the recent matches in this tournament. Other players who have been at their best include Luyanda Bacela, Roy Mahamutsa, Andile Jali and Happy Jele just to mention few.