Orlando Pirates head into Sunday’s second leg CAF Confederation Cup semi-final against Al Ahly Tripoli with a handy 2-0 advantage.
Kick-off at the Orlando Stadium is scheduled for 18:00.
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Should the Buccaneers progress to the final – as is widely expected – they will face the winner of the other semi-final between TP Mazembe and RS Berkane.
That semi-final is currently 1-0 in favour of TP Mazembe after the first leg.
The final will take place in Uyo, Nigeria on Friday, 20 May.
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While Orlando Pirates’ fans will no doubt be keeping a close eye on proceedings, their Soweto rival Kaizer Chiefs also have an interest in the outcome.
That’s because should Orlando Pirates go on to reach the final and win the one-off match, they will secure one of the two available spots to South African teams in next season’s CAF Confederation Cup.
The second spot has already been ‘won’ by Marumo Gallants who reached this season’s Nedbank Cup final.
The winner of the Nedbank Cup final on Saturday, 28 May is guaranteed a place in the CAF Confederation Cup the following season.
With Marumo Gallants’ opponents Mamelodi Sundowns already assured of a place in the CAF Champions League in 2022/23, by default Marumo Gallants are – win or lose – playing in Africa next campaign.
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The above Orlando-Pirates-winning-the-CAF-Confederation-Cup scenario would leave just one CAF Champions League spot available to the three teams currently battling for the runner-up spot in the DStv Premiership.
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However, should Orlando Pirates not win the CAF Confederation Cup this season, suddenly another spot for the third-placed finisher in this season’s DStv Premiership will open up.
The teams currently in contention are: Cape Town City (48 points after 28 matches), Royal AM (45 after 27) and Kaizer Chiefs (43 after 28).
Amakhosi are outsiders for that all-important second place finish, but do still stand a chance should they win their final two matches and other results go their way.
It’s a stretch, but not impossible.
Either way, Kaizer Chiefs fans will be hoping and praying their Buccaneers rivals fall short either in Sunday’s semi-final or in the final to give them a greater chance of playing in Africa next season.
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