Pirates in silverware hunt this weekend

CAF Confederation Cup

Following a season of blanks on the domestic scene, South Africa’s surviving CAF representatives Orlando Pirates will press on with their silverware as they continue with their continental journey.

Pirates travel to Libya to face Al Ahli Tripoli in the first leg of the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals.

Now standing as the only hope for the country following the elimination of Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League, Pirates have the continent’s second-tier competition as their last hope for silverware this season under Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids.

The Bucs have failed in the MTN8, Nedbank Cup, and league leaving the Confederation Cup as their sole hope for silverware which will have the added incentive of playing in the CAF Super Cup as well.

With second or third place – which secures continental football for next season – no longer in their hands, Pirates must win the Confederation Cup to secure a ticket to CAF club football next season.

For now, though, the immediate task is finding a way past Al Ahli which rank as the most successful club in Libya.

"It will be a difficult match because Al Ahli Tripoli is strong at home," says Libyan journalist Abdulrazzaq Belhaj from Wassat TV.

With Al Ahli’s traditional home in Tripoli under renovation, they will play at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benghazi.

According to another Libyan journalist, Morad Dakhil an application to have fans for the historic match has been made by the club and is awaiting approval.

This is the first time that Al Ahli have reached the last four of this competition.

Al Ahli are coached by Fathi Jebal of Tunisia and has Anis Saltou and Mohamed Almunir as their star players.   

They currently sit second in the Libyan Premier League Group behind Al-Ittihad – who are the other team that Pirates played during the group stages losing away before playing a draw at home. 

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