De Sa rallies local fans

2013-11-12 17:30
Roger de Sa (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa has called on local supporters to turn out in numbers every time the Soweto side play on home turf.

“Unfortunately at home, we don’t seem to respect this competition as much as the rest of the continent does,” De Sa said at OR Tambo International on Tuesday.

“I think we have to start doing that more, and back your team from home. That’s what the Egyptians did - they supported their team.”

Pirates failed in their bid for a second African Champions League title, after a 2-0 loss to Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the second-leg of the final at the Arab Contractors Stadium on Sunday.

The Buccaneers were met by more than 30 000 fanatical supporters, turning the capital city’s venue into a cauldron and the stadium into a formidable arena for any visiting team.

De Sa said he was delighted to have been able to play in front of a massive crowd, and praised his players for taking it in their stride and performing well on the day, despite the disappointing result.

“To see and feel that vibe was unbelievable,” De Sa said.

“Yet my players still performed against all that, so I was happy with everything all round.

“We thought it was great to see. The way they (Ahly supporters) fill stadiums and the way they sing and support their team, no matter what. It is an example to all our supporters.”

Ahly captured their eighth African title, winning 3-1 on aggregate, having drawn the first leg 1-1 at Orlando Stadium on November 2.

The match was marred slightly by Ahly supporters shining green laser lights into the eyes of opposing players in an attempt to distract them.

“We experienced the lasers in Tunisia (during the semi-final against Esperance), but not as much as we saw in Egypt,” he said.

“It’s not an excuse though and if take them on again - bring on the lasers.

“But it’s not nice. It dampened the whole atmosphere of a fanatic crowd with fantastic support so it was a little bit disappointing on that front.”

Read more on:    orlando pirates  |  psl  |  roger de sa  |  soccer

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