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Orlando Pirates Al Ahly CAF Champions League final

Posted: 11 November 2013 Time: 15:28

When Orlando Pirates qualified for the CAF Champions League Final, the country got abuzz with excitement and the recollections of the ‘Class of 95’ were repeated over and over again.

The country’s Sport and Recreation Minister, known for his big talk, entered the fray and boldly declared that ‘History chose Pirates, Pirates didn’t choose history’.

The final result didn’t prove him wrong …

Years and years came, and nothing happened for South African clubs in the CAF Champions League.

Since 2006, when a certain team from Orlando reached the semifinals of this competition, no other team in the PSL has done anything worth writing home about. The people of the land had lost hope of having any club carrying the flag with pride for them in Africa.

Excuses were always advanced for one failure, about this and what have you, mostly common in the South African football blame game.

Others cried about the standard of officiating, others about the calendar clash with CAF, others about the travelling, others about the away conditions … all under one umbrella of passing the buck.

But Pirates, after losing the League title to Kaizer Chiefs last season, headed for Africa determined to render those excuses exactly what they were.

Because of the low points ratio of the PSL teams in the CAF rankings, Pirates were forced to play a needless preliminary tie to qualify for the Champions League proper, while the big guns got a bye. Even the medium guns, in fact.

No matter, they got on with the job and their mission got underway.

Quite a lot, many indeed, expected Bucs to falter at the first few hurdles, but they proved to be sharp enough to spring over them without any doubt of mediocrity. The whole country started to believe this can be done when they reached the coveted group stages of the competition; essentially, the quarterfinal.

And perhaps their belief went to another level too.

But this journey was by no means easy. It can never be. Who can forget the trip to DR Congo? It has been labelled as ‘the best game we never saw’.

Lubumbashi was set never to be overcome by the men from Soweto. On the day, no team would have won against TP Mazembe. No team. Perhaps they’re still wondering how did they get knocked out.

And Pirates didn't win the battle on the day. The officials did. Pirates won the war. Actually, they deserved medals for that triumph alone …

In truth though, it shouldn’t happen that a team that hasn’t played a League game in about five months can go on to beat the hell out of everyone in Africa. The Al Ahly side has aged, and this was the right moment to bury them.

Africa cannot be proud of herself with the Red Devils still dominating the continent, even at their worst. In their prime, Pirates failed to show Al Ahly what time it is. They were unsure of themselves in the first-leg, and allowed the men in red to go into the second-leg final with a psychological advantage of an away goal, and a draw.

By simply letting them get away with what they want you put yourself against the wall.

Pirates players and their technical staff know all too well that they’ve missed a glorious opportunity here. Al Ahly were there for the taking.

It may never come again that they get to play in the final of the continent’s top club competition, against a side whose country will be as war-torn as Egypt were/is and didn't have a League schedule in five months. And with their snail-paced players masquerading as the best in Africa.

Fikile Mbalula was right in saying that ‘History chose Pirates, Pirates didn’t choose history’, but only in the sense that history chose Pirates to set the benchmark again for the PSL clubs.

To make them also to believe that it can be done. It couldn't be done on the 10th of November, but is now a real possibility for the near future …

*Follow Thato on twitter @ThatoB_

Thato Bosoga

Livefyre comments on this story...

Ghost Ninja
posted: 2013-11-11 13:33:45

We are never going to hear the end of it, as if all the insults we have been subjected to were not enough.

posted: 2013-11-11 13:35:19

we may be beaten but the expirince gained will make us even stronger ,going forwad.once n always.

Win or Loose "2nd Star Failure FC"
posted: 2013-11-11 13:37:53

shem, sad faces... no more win with away goals, that's what spoils you

Rhino Rhino
posted: 2013-11-11 13:37:58

We Don't Celebrate Mediocrity in South Africa. Let them go to hell with their Second Star. Love & Peace. 

The Phefeni Boy®™
posted: 2013-11-11 13:38:16

WTF?...Believe in what?

These bunch of losers did not inspire anyone......Maybe their fans and Fikile Mbalula

They are losers  and Al Ahly are the winners....

We will never get inspired by losers

Win or Loose "2nd Star Failure FC"
posted: 2013-11-11 13:39:27

Meyiwa is thinking of going to steal the CL cup atleast to bring something home

posted: 2013-11-11 13:40:28

True Thato they made us believe losing is still part of our South African Soccer. They made us believe Soccer in Africa has progressed while we are busy playing black label. Let us not forget there is no league in Egypt. Just imagine if league was in place.

The Game
posted: 2013-11-11 13:40:31

Yes they did, if you look at Supersports, Mamelodi Sundowns, Platinum Stars to mention but a few, they are coached by local coaches and yet Roger De Sa without a vast experience kwi Pirates has really made them a just one step away from the Caf Champions League Cup.  This can also be an inspiration to our national squad's coach - Gordon Igesund that within the country we have quality that don't actually need decades to make the presence felt.  I know we will have different sentiments about the topic or the article but we may take from where Pirates has left and continue and maybe one day South Africa will be respected kwi Africa Continent.

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2013-11-11 13:40:38

Is there anyone who still argues that Lucky Lekgwati "deserves to play" or "he is being punished" or "he must lift the cup" or "RDS hates him" or "RDS must come into his senses"?

posted: 2013-11-11 13:40:43

I think the reason we go no where as a country is because we lack critical thinkers at most. If this is opinion then surely we lack the think-tank some country seem to posses with ease. Our dear writer tells us that for SA to reach the final of the competition is something to write home about and actually celebrate. In Germany this is, however, the grandest failure of note. Where standards they are enclined to stoop even lower... the trick is to break the glass of the window of opportunity, and every opportunity favours the bold one. So here in SA we are not bold but engage in cheap diplomacy... no patriotism, no hunger, that is why our low standards stoop even lower... 

In short, the reader tells us, in his opinion, losing against a team that reached the final ten times is somthing South Africans should celebrate. Mbalula must report to cabinet... something positive must come... we must begin punishing our teams when they fail, that is the only way we can break the glass of the window of opportunity.

posted: 2013-11-11 13:41:02

South Africans celebrate mediocrity, we don't expect them to appreciate a good show... Bafana did the country proud in 2010 by bowing out in the group stages, but Pirates are the biggest losers. The world cup's first goal according is still a heroic moment to this day.

Ghost 23
posted: 2013-11-11 13:43:22

I repeat others have forgotten what teams they support, such is the fixation with the Bucs!

We the best and they all have one thing in common, hating the Best. The Benchmark is set at Parktown, others follow. These ladies of the night will fall flat on their faces when their turn comes to represent us.

And in typical darkie fashion they engage in "pull him down" syndrome, we are not phased by such, Here are warriors who will one day be able to tell their childern and grandchildren stories of their greatness and how they mixed it with the best there was...while others will die having criss-crossed the streets of Soweto. Dankie Mabhakaniya you have made us and your families proud

Once and Always.

Signed: Ghost 23

Sir Epiginosko dafuncky
posted: 2013-11-11 13:43:55

The Phefeni Boy hahaha today you had a field day running riot and killing all rats!!! i been following you closely today

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2013-11-11 13:44:13

@ Dooba,

This is what we have been preaching all along that mediocrity must never be accepted...hence I said I will not congratulate Pirates because they had no business losing that game.

Sadly though, you & all KC fans were up in arms when I & many argued about celebrating nonsense as far as KC & BB is concerned.

Umfana wokuThula noXolo
posted: 2013-11-11 13:45:33

Garbage maan! no wonder our PSL is in the state it is in, what they believe in is nonsense...

Ghost 23
posted: 2013-11-11 13:45:55

hehehehehe...still havent found a job i see? still camped out on this site.

Get a life tsotsi...

posted: 2013-11-11 13:45:59

The Game What you wrote here sounds good but will you wish Kaizer Chiefs well in this competition next year. The things is I know you, you would rather wish Pirates well done Kaizer Chiefs. Howzit anyway my long time nemesis its been a while.

Anti Zebra
posted: 2013-11-11 13:47:17

These hypocrites who are mocking Pirates for losing in the final, are same ones who were celebrating Bafana's quarter-final elimination in Afcon. 

posted: 2013-11-11 13:47:48

I don't care who says what, no team can win every final that they play in... Pirates made it that far, and were there to win it otherwise they should have just taken a leaf from the villager's book and stayed home.

We did well in Africa, every team that thinks they are better than us now BELIEVES they can do it.

The Game
posted: 2013-11-11 13:48:06

GeeGang  The Game : Ola, my brother you are assuming, let's see how Chiefs get into the finals - remember it's been donkey years that your team has been in this competition.  So don't assume, Pirates represented a country I happen to be living in

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