Absa Premiership

Leopards must win Pirates to stay alive

2015-08-20 12:00
Issa Sarr (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Congo’s AC Leopards must defeat Orlando Pirates  to keep alive their hopes of advancing into the semi-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup.

The Buccaneers currently find themselves placed second on the log on nine points, level with Egyptian giants and leaders Zamalek.

Leopards are third on four points, while Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien bring up the rear with one point and have already been eliminated from semifinal contention.

Pirates’ last outing in the continental tournament saw them defeat Sfaxien 2-0 in Soweto on August 8, with Thabo Rakhale and Menzi Masuku scoring the goals which took Eric Tinkler’s men to the verge of a place in the final four.

In fact, had Leopards not beaten Zamalek 1-0 the next day thanks to a goal from Mukenga Mukendi, both Bucs and the Egyptian side would already have secured progression.

As it stands, the South Africans need only avoid defeat against the team they beat 1-0 in Dolisie in their opening group game to book a spot in the final four.

Pirates come into the game in good form, having whipped Chippa United 4-1 in domestic action.

It was their first win on the local scene in the 2015/16 season, but coach Tinkler was not entirely satisfied with his team.

“Tonight's game was good for us because it helps us in the league, gets us up the ladder. It also helps with the form going into CAF,” said the former Bafana Bafana player after the match.

“We were slow in the first half, very poor. We lost the ball cheaply, couldn't make the pass or pick the cross. We were terrible.

“But we got more confident as we went on and it showed when we got the second goal. We started finding our feet so I'm very happy there.”

Kenyan referee Davies Omweno will take charge of the match at Orlando Stadium.

The teams will meet for their penultimate Group B clash at Orlando Stadium on Saturday, August 22.

Kick-off is at 18:00.

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