Bucs happy to sail into calmer Caf waters!

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Orlando Pirates players warm up for CAF Confederation Cup 2021/22 match. 
Photo: BackpagePix
Orlando Pirates players warm up for CAF Confederation Cup 2021/22 match. Photo: BackpagePix

THINGS might not be going well for Orlando Pirates domestically, but they seem to have all the answers in the Caf Confederation Cup.

The Soweto giants have struggled on the domestic front this season, battling to reach any of their objectives.

But the same can’t be said in continental football where they are having another campaign to remember. And they will be more than happy to switch their focus back to their favourite competition this season – the Confederation Cup.

Bucs face Libyan outfit Al Ahli Tripoli in the first leg of their semi-final at the Martyrs of February Stadium on Sunday (6pm).

They head into the clash eager to get back to winning ways having suffered a shock 1-0 loss to relegation threatened TS Galaxy in the DStv Premiership last time out.

The Soweto giants co-coach, Mandla Ncikazi, who still doesn’t understand why his team can’t carry their Caf form into the league, will be hoping that the opposite doesn’t happen.

Ncikazi and co-coach Fadlu Davids will want their team to maintain their fine form in the continental competition, and then return home to figure out the solution to their poor league form.

“I wish I could come up with reasons as to why we perform better in Caf,” said Ncikazi.

“But maybe the representation of the country in Africa becomes stronger for our players.

“They want to build on the good history that this club has in continental football. I think another reason could be that teams from the rest of the continent are not used to facing us.”

Pirates will head into the match sweating on the fitness of star defender Olisa Ndah, who missed the defeat against Galaxy due to injury.

The Nigerian centre-back was forced off against Chippa United a fortnight ago and has not featured since. But Ncikazi is crossing fingers that one of his best defenders this season will be available for selection in arguably their biggest game of the season so far.

Pirates are desperate to bring home an advantage from their trip before completing the job at home next Sunday.

“We are still going to get feedback on him (Ndah),” said Ncikazi.

“We just pray that he goes through the scan and it’s not as bad as we initially thought.”

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