It’s now or never for Orlando Pirates as they lock horns with the lethal Egypt based Al Ahly at Orlando Stadium on Sunday in a do or die Group A champions league encounter.
Bucs defeated Al Ahly by 3-0 away from home in the 1st leg. They will be looking to do the same on Sunday. However, it might not be easy for the Sea Robbers to connect the dots as simply this time around. Al Ahly will come out guns blazing as they want to retain the top spot in the group and proceed to the semi-finals of the Champions league.
After five games, Orlando Pirates are placed in position two in group A with seven points whilst Al Ahly is leading the group with ten points.
De Sa’s companions are walking on thin ice, as they must collect three points from Al Ahly and pray very hard for AC leopard to slip against Zamalek for them to proceed to the semi-finals.
However, bad news coming out from the Bucs camp is that they will battle it out with the dangerous Al Ahly without the services of the anchor man, Andile Jali. Orlando Pirates medical team confirmed on Friday that Andile Jali will not be available to play on Sunday because of the shoulder injury he sustained in the match against Plolokwane City on Wednesday night.
Nonetheless, Jali’s injury didn’t leave Roger De Sa scratching his head as he has the services of the strong young star Lehlogonolo Malesela who is equal the task and he is able to control the Bucs midfield fluently.
Despite the exhausting back-to-back encounters, De Sa is confident that his cadres are ready to go to Orlando Stadium and collect maximum points against Africa’s most successful outfit.
Speaking to SABC News.com De sa said: “Six months ago nobody thought we’d be this close to the semi-finals and now we just have to grab this opportunity.”
Bucs winger Daine Klate has tagged the Sunday’s tie as a cup final. Speaking to Orlandopirates.com he said: “Despite having already qualified, I don’t think Al Ahly will come here to just fulfill the calendar. Remember that we ‘killed’ them in Egypt and now they know the pressure is on us to also qualify. So, they might just want to settle the score here. That is why I say it is going to be very interesting. This is the moment of truth. None can hide from it.”
Also, on Sunday the Egyptian based Zamalek will host AC leopards from Congo at 16h00.