Orlando Pirates will hope that it will be third-time lucky when they go in search of continental glory. The Buccaneers face the Moroccan side, RS Berkane, in the final of the CAF Confederation Cup in Uyo, Nigeria, on Friday evening.
It will be the third time since 2013 that the Soweto giants will feature in the final of a CAF competition. On the two previous occasions, they finished runners-up.
In 2013, Pirates lost to Egyptian greats, Al Ahly in the final of the Champions League. Two years later, they missed out on lifting the Confederation Cup after losing to Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia.
The Buccaneers will play another North African opponent on Friday in search of silverware this season. And it’s another opportunity to make history.
Pirates have not had the best of seasons on the domestic front. However, they couldn’t be faulted in their continental quest. They will want to carry on with the momentum but also have a polished game management plan.
“We are focusing on our attacking movements, fluidity, how we are able to exploit their weaknesses identified in their team,” says Orlando Pirates co-coach, Fadlu Davids.
Pirates face a side that won the competition two seasons ago. Although the Sea Robbers carry the underdog status, they are determined to impose their style of play.
“It’s about us playing our football and we trust how we have approached this CAF competition, we trust in our style and we trust in our players to be able to execute on the day managing emotions is one part but following the tactical plan and being in control of these moments when we are on top and when we are not on top and trust our game strategy our plan to get the goals,” Davids adds.
The match will be played at a neutral venue. The Pirates camp is hoping for support which they are likely to receive. They will rely on the presence of defender Oliseh Ndah returning to the stadium where he won the league title with his former club before joining them.
“We hope the Nigerians will get behind us and have the extra 12th man in the stadium so the neutral venue could become our home ground,” Davids explains.
The team has already arrived in Nigeria where they will wrap up their preparations.