Khoza: CAF run reflects competitive PSL


Pirates played 14 games in the continental competition - most recently edging Esperance on the weekend - to set up a tournament decider with seven-time champions and holders Al Ahly.

The teams will contest the first leg at Orlando Stadium on November 2, with the return duel scheduled for Egypt on November 9.

Khoza, who also serves as the League's chairman, reflected on Bucs' progress this season on the Soweto outfit's official website. 

Khoza wrote: "Our journey to the final can hardly be referred to as a juggernaut. The devotion and sacrifice demanded to achieve a juggernaut was, however, consistently displayed by the Orlando Pirates team en-route to this all important final. 

"Our team had to encounter a path with TP Mazembe, Zamalek, Al Ahly and Esperance who together have won the CAF Championship 18 times. 

"The first leg of the final at Orlando Stadium on the 2nd of November will be the 15th game played by Orlando Pirates since the beginning of the competition. The team played a further nine games in the PSL, this not withstanding the four ABSA Premiership games that had to be postponed.

"A route to the final that included AC Leopards, the 2012 CAF Confederations Cup champions; Zamalek, five-time CAF Champions League champions; Al Ahly, the defending seven-time CAF Champions League champions; and Esperance, two-time CAF Champions League winners is no mean achievement. This achievement talks to more. It talks to the competitive league that the PSL is.

"Most of the teams that have dominated the CAF Champions League play in leagues that are two-horse races dominated by two teams always in contention for the top spot. The PSL is highly competitive and hence not predictable. It is also punishing in its schedule that includes the ABSA Premiership and three cup competitions. 

"I have to commend the Orlando Pirates players for not complaining, at any stage during this grueling contest. It is worth noting that when Zambia won the AFCON, most of its players were playing in the PSL."

He added: "The success of Orlando Pirates is not for the Buccaneers alone. It is for our nation and region. I pray that Orlando Pirates' success in the Championship spur Bafana Bafana to another Afcon win reminiscent of the 1996 success after Orlando Pirates triumphed in 1995."