Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates midfielder Lehlohonolo Masalesa says he and his
team-mates were scared for their lives in Lumbumbashi this past weekend
as they fought for their CAF Champions League progression.
According to the Football411 website, against all the odds, Roger de Sa's side emerged from their
second-round second leg tie with a 3-2 aggregate over TP Mazembe after
only losing 1-0 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a controversial clash on and off the field, Bucs captain Lucky
Lekgwathi was red carded and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa made two penalty
saves that followed some questionable refereeing decisions.
Upon his return to South Africa, Masalesa told the club's
official website: "Throughout the match, we only got one shot at goal.
No fouls were given to us inside Mazembe's half. We got no corner kicks
whatsoever - nothing went our way - it was just crazy - it was not a
"Look, we chose to rather forget about all the negative things
and take that experience in Congo and move on. We were scared for our
lives after the match. The fans of Mazembe started burning cars outside
the stadium - we could not understand that.
"It is never easy in Africa - we will soldier on from now - I
think the team is better prepared to face whatever may come - we did
well for the country and I am happy about that."
Former Pirates defender Mark Fish, though, feels that the
experience will go a long way to hardening the players ahead of more
potentially tougher enviroments and applauded the way they conducted
themselves in such trying conditions.
He said: "Look, that experience was there for them to live.
Football is a big sport in the continent and in Africa, those guys do
not like to lose, it is in them - they will do all it takes to win at
home and our players should know that.
"They now have to keep the spirit together and get on with the
job. I think the team was phenomenal, because no one gave them a chance
but they showed that they were united and were determined to get a
result against Mazembe.
"Winning 3-1 at home was very important. It made things a bit
easier for them in the second round and the entire team should be
commended for that. That attitude and resilience should be brought into