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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...

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2013-11-11 13:48:12

What I take out of this journey is the invaluable expirience that O.Pirates gained. Haters will always hate but O.Pirates is respected & saluted across Africa even though AA won. Who in his right mind would have thought that AA would pack a bus at home, leading 2-0? Only against a team of note, the one the respect & fear?

The Phefeni Boy®™
posted: 2013-11-11 13:48:15

Ghost 23 I am a full timer here baba.....at the same time I drive, I eat, I invest, I own, and then you ask yourself how?

I blog anonymously.......You don't know me.....you can only imagine me.....

I am the Great one from Phefeni

ScotchFLAVA [We are Clubless]
posted: 2013-11-11 13:48:23

We shifting focus to another treble now. Operation Treble Champs on the mend now.  

Win or Loose "2nd Star Failure FC"
posted: 2013-11-11 13:48:30

Phenyoza BB and 2nd Star Failure are two different team...we celebrate different as our noisy neighbours don't support BB

deleted_21083860_deleted_21083860_SisterP
posted: 2013-11-11 13:48:36

Yes there is a team that can lose all finals pirates has just proven that.

Amakhosi eMbalenhle
posted: 2013-11-11 13:48:40

Mr mbalula how far with the model you banged?

Umfana wokuThula noXolo
posted: 2013-11-11 13:49:25

Look at Senzo Meyiwa ucabanga uKelly and we must celebrate that, kahle whats wrong with you people!

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2013-11-11 13:49:50

You need to stay in that Leslie zink Mkhukhu of yours & let Mbaks be.

Phenyoza
posted: 2013-11-11 13:50:40

Win or Loose "I hate Pie**rete with passion" we talking about mediocrity, you tell me what the biggest joke is... Losing a final or a group stage exit

KrocGTFOH
posted: 2013-11-11 13:50:54

Anti Zebra Lol. You just joined the same train

Ghost 23
posted: 2013-11-11 13:50:55

@SisterP...what are u saying??

Mnune
posted: 2013-11-11 13:50:59

Good article. All eyes on us now.

Ghost Ninja
posted: 2013-11-11 13:51:27

Mgugudi Treble Addict We should have won that game though, i am bitterly disappointed that we lost. But i believe the experience will make us stronger, we need to win the league as i believe we have unfinished business with regards to the Champions League. 


Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2013-11-11 13:51:38

@ Anti Zebra

They agreed with Jordan when he suspended Nonkonyane for telling Gordon to pull up his socks or resign, if not face the burrel of a gun should he not win, least reach the final of CHAN.

The Phefeni Boy®™
posted: 2013-11-11 13:51:46

GeeGang Please do not waste your time on this Pirates/Sundowns fan......He does not have a back and front.....if you get what I mean..

Phenyoza
posted: 2013-11-11 13:52:41

SisterP That's your opinion, but it still doesnt take away from the fact that a team that made it to the finals has the will and desire to win

deleted_21083860_deleted_21083860_SisterP
posted: 2013-11-11 13:53:54

true like Chippa united had desire and will to stay in the PSL, but to win takes character and courage like Chiefs did last season.

The Game
posted: 2013-11-11 13:54:12

The Phefeni Boy GeeGang : You are so gay, tjo...you can be a nag

Phenyoza
posted: 2013-11-11 13:54:50

SisterP We were there til the final day, only an idiot can compare a tournament to a league

The Phefeni Boy®™
posted: 2013-11-11 13:54:53

Inspred by losers?..hehehehe...siyanyelwa la.

WTF is this?

When the people are inspired and motivated by the winners, in the mist of their political turmoil...

Here at home we are singing name of losers..Sorry not me.

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