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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...

Win or Loose "2nd Star Failure FC"
posted: 2013-11-11 13:55:01

SisterP How many finals did 2nd Star Failure FC played and got 0?

posted: 2013-11-11 13:55:36

it was just anology mr clever.

Ghost 23
posted: 2013-11-11 13:55:38

@Ninja i hear u my fellow Member but lets put this into context, first final in 18 years, AA 6th final in a row?? be that as it may u are right we lost the game through our own doing and the pain will stay for weeks to come but we can hold our heads high like my man the Treble Addict says who would have though AA would park the bus against Pirates?? we outplayed AA in both legs purely in footballing terms but they outscored us, the difference in experience was there for all to see. We can only grow from this.

Once and Always!!

GinoFeelo Balotelli
posted: 2013-11-11 13:55:54



Ngathi isalukazi....esidliwe sidlala ufafi...

ScotchFLAVA [We are Clubless]
posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:12

 @The Phefeni Boy  so Bafana bafana together with your bunch of players don't inspire you right?

posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:14

SisterP the most irrelevant comparison

The Phefeni Boy®™
posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:17

The Game Gay?...listen to this Ngevungevu.....How can you say that to a person you have never seen?

You wish I was gay.......

posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:21

The Phefeni Boy Uthetha inja mnqundwakho.

Mgugudi Treble Addict
posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:26

@ Ghost Ninja,

You are 100% correct. Our management also need to plan accordingly because for me, it seems like they only realised after the TP Mazembe game the possibility of a 2nd star even though Khoza has always wanted it.

Furthermore, we must stop getting sentimental with players. If jali performs well today but not so tommorow, we must not derail the team by always creating devision amongst players by making other more equal than others because in the end, it back-fires like it did with our captain.

Ghost 23
posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:46

@Sister P...u are mentally inept wena, go back to typing minutes and stop wasting our time

K.I.C (Khosiologyst)
posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:50

Mediocre article. But i don't blame people like bo Thato, this is what Model C schools and learning English does to a black person. All they enjoy is to celebrate the "Sense of belonging" and "passive participation". 

Nigerian U17 has just won the world cup.....with no top notch infrastructure and all, the boys did the country extremely proud. With all the monies these SA teams have people praise a team with a double treble pedigree for being beaten by a team that has not been playing league games in two years...hau madoda asseblief tuu. 

Queen 2The Chiefs
posted: 2013-11-11 13:56:59

We dont roll out red carpert for mediocrity:Fikile Mbalula

Champions will be crowned on the weekend at the SA Sports Awards,not people that come second

Ghost Ninja
posted: 2013-11-11 13:57:02

Rhino Rhino Do you know the meaning mediocrity outie yam?? Not all of us are celebrating Bhejane and it's a proven fact that you Chiefs fans are best at celebrating what you just pointed out...MEDIOCRITY!!!

posted: 2013-11-11 13:57:03

MTN8 and second star. lol more pain is still coming. their coach will be getting vuvuzelas soon.

Bhakaniya 4rm the east
posted: 2013-11-11 13:57:07

Now that we have played with the best and on the highest level in Africa the domestic league seems meaningless. So we only returning to win the league then go back to Africa to compete with our equals.

The Phefeni Boy®™
posted: 2013-11-11 13:57:23

Spykos1 Go ahead and get inspired.....I do not celebrate rubbish.

bucaneer 4 lyf
posted: 2013-11-11 13:57:26

At least Bucs is nt the same as BB who r always learning

CAF Champions league& Proudly CCC Silver Medalist
posted: 2013-11-11 13:57:50

Thato you forgot to mention that we have a MEDAL to prove our fighting spirit in Africa.

Our players have something to treasure about the achivement of Champions League final.

This generation of AJ15, Manyisa, DK7 etc will be remebered for ever.

This is the core team that also set a benchmark by winning double treble in a row.

Up the Bucs!    

posted: 2013-11-11 13:58:00

SisterP Uthetha ikhozo wena.

The Game
posted: 2013-11-11 13:58:10

The Phefeni Boy  The Game : Cos you act like one, you talk like one, you nag like one, you seek attention like one, you are so power seeking just like one,

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