Ncikazi praises players as Pirates advance in CAF CC

Premiership

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has highlighted the importance of all South African clubs progressing in the CAF club competitions while pointing out the input of certain players in his team.

Pirates went through to the CAF Confederation Cup play-off round following their 1-0 win over Congolese club CSMD Diables Noirs on Sunday and will be joined by Marumo Gallants who overcame AS Vita.

In the Champions League, both Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu are through to the group stages after also overcoming Congolese opposition.

“It is a good sign for South African football because one can only be proud to be South African that from Marumo Gallants, AmaZulu, Pirates now and (Mamelodi) Sundowns (have gone through),” says Ncikazi.

“It is good for South African football and if this is the direction that our football is taking it gives comfort but mainly I am happy that Pirates is through to the next phase.

“This is African football and if you don’t score you will have problems. I’m just happy that the team could go into the next phase,” he says.

Of interest in the win over Diables Noirs was the inclusion of Goodman Mosele.

The 21-year-old attracted negative press after he failed to report for national team camp in what was eventually said to have been personal reasons.

He can in and put a full shift when called for duty through a game in which Happy Jele scored the goal that made the difference.

"I was surprised that he lasted for the duration of the match. We were sceptical because it was his first match after the period that he was not with the team but Goodman being Goodman he sustained himself and did well, contributed to the set-up and I am just happy that he is back.

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"There is more to him but the match that we played we had a lot of defending towards the end of the match, but he did his job and did very well and we are proud of him,” he says while noting who he felt was exceptional.

"Happy Jele leadership, experience, humbleness but a lion on the field of play stood out for me. Since (Paseka) Mako came back from the injury he has been outstanding. Kwanda Mngonyama who has not played most of the games, although he had challenges towards the end understandably so because he hasn’t played.

"The whole defence just stood their ground. (Siyabonga) Mpontshane did well and the two central midfielders, (Thabang) Monare coming from an injury couldn’t finish the match. The whole six did exceptionally well and I am just proud that we defended well and from this we take into the next phase," says Ncikazi.

Pirates will switch back to domestic season this week with a date against Royal AM on Thursday, Sekhukhune United at the weekend before the Soweto derby next week.

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