Orlando Pirates mentor looks at ‘big picture’ after scraping into final


Mandla Ncikazi has admitted that Orlando Pirates could have been better in their clash against Al Ahly of Libya on Sunday.

Pirates progressed to the final 2-1 on aggregate but lost 1-0 on the road to the side from Tripoli and had to absorb waves of pressure as the second leg wound up.

The scoreboard got into Orlando Pirates’ heads

Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates face RS Berkane in the Caf Confed Cup final on Friday. Photo: Backpagepix.

Ncikazi believes the match situation in the two-legged tie got the best of some of his players in difficult conditions.

“Let’s thank the players for taking the team into the final, let’s thank the supporters for coming today – the weather was not the best and one must be grateful,” Ncikazi told the media contingent after the match.

“It was a tough match, bigger picture we went into the final, could we have done it in a better or cleaner way? Yes, but subconsciously you could see the scoreline that we had, the dynamics behind this match was affecting our team, but we controlled the match well.

“In the second half we could see a difference from the opposition and we had already highlighted a few things at the break. You could see this team was playing without fear, throwing everything at us,” the Orlando Pirates coach explained.

“I’m just proud that the team achieved the bigger goal. At the beginning of the competition, if you were to say Pirates were going to be in the final, one would have been grateful.”


Tinker time

Ncikazi feels that a few small tweaks will be required to get Orlando Pirates ready for the challenge of the final itself.

“Let’s take the bigger picture and work on the small elements that one picked up preparing for Nigeria which is going to be very tough,” he said.

Orlando Pirates will face RS Berkane in the Caf Confederation Cup final at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria.


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