Caf Confederation Cup: Orlando Pirates' tough task against 'police force' Royal Leopards – Ncikazi

Mandla Ncikazi, Orlando Pirates, August 2021
The Buccaneers tactician reveals why it will be tough to beat their rivals in their third match of the Caf competition

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has admitted they will approach their Caf Confederation Cup fixture against Royal Leopards with caution on Sunday.

The Buccaneers will play their third match in Group B when they step onto the Mbombela Stadium to face the Eswitani side. Despite Pirates being the away team, the game will be played at Mbombela because Leopards’ home ground is banned by Caf.

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Ncikazi has revealed why it will be difficult for Pirates to break down the police force team.

What did Ncikazi say?

“We are very cautious about our opponents. They are a very good team, very physical. They are a police force team, you can see they are structured and conditioned,” Ncikazi told the media as quoted by Sowetan.

“They play in a block, very good with their shape. They are very resolute. They are a very strong team. They are comfortable playing on the counterattack, so it is important for us not to take anything lightly.

“We will have to play our best game and then I am confident we will get a result.”

Meanwhile, Pirates captain Happy Jele is confident they have what it takes to go all the way and lift the African title.

‘Pirates need the points’

“It’s a very important match, the previous game we did not do well, but there are a lot of positive things we can take from it, so we will stick to that,” Jele said as quoted by the same portal.

Orlando Pirates Peprah Jele Motshwari Hotto

“We are looking forward to getting a result; we need the points to proceed to the next stage, so it is very important for us to play our ‘A-Game’. With the group of players we have, we are capable of taking any cup coming our way.

“We just need to work together as a team. From the management, technical team, and the players, we need to be one. For us [as players] it is to implement everything we have been doing at training to get the results. Then we can win any competition.”

Last season, Pirates failed to go past the quarter-finals of the competition after losing to Raja Casablanca of Morocco 5-1 on aggregate. They are currently topping their group with three points from two matches.

Pirates kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 win against Algeria’s JS Saoura before they lost their second match 3-2 away to Al-Ittihad of Libya.