Preview: AC Leopards vs Pirates in CAF Confederation Cup Group B
Posted: 26 June 2015 Time: 14:38
Orlando Pirates coach Eric Tinkler is confident he has the personnel to get a result in Saturday's CAF Confederation Cup Group B opener with AC Leopards in Dolisie.
The Buccaneers, South Africa’s only surviving contestant in African club competition, have overcome Uganda Revenue Authority, Gabon’s CF Mounana and Guinean club AS Kaloum Star to book their place in the group stage.
They now face a tough opener in the mini-league section of the competition, travelling to Congo-Brazzaville to play on an artificial turf.
And the Soweto side will also be without two key figures, experienced defender Rooi Mahamutsa and in-form striker Thamsanqa Gabuza, who scored three goals in the previous round against Kaloum and two for the South African national team earlier this month.
“Look, obviously we would like to have all our players available for selection so I’d be lying if I said we wouldn’t miss them but having said that we have capable players who are ready to step up and continue from where these two have left off and I suppose that is the beauty of coaching a well-balanced side,” Tinkler told his club’s official website.
Leopards are former Confederation Cup champions, having been the first Congo side to win the competition back in 2012. They dropped out of the Champions League in the second round before defeating Nigeria’s Warri Wolves 4-3 on aggregate to book a place in the group stage of the second-tier continental tournament.
Pirates and Leopards met in the group stage of the 2013 Champions League. The teams’ first match was on 20 July 2013 at the Orlando Stadium, and it ended in a goalless draw.
The return game in Dolisie on 14 September 2013 was a different affair, with the Congo side claiming a 1-0 home win thanks to a 72nd minute goal from Dimitri Magnoleke Bissiki.
However, the victory didn’t help Leopards, who finished bottom of the group, while Bucs still managed to advance and go on to end as runners-up in the tournament.
Senegal’s Malang Diedhiou will take charge of the match in Dolisie.