Absa Premiership

Masalesa: We were scared

2013-05-07 13:11
Lehlohonolo Masalesa (Gallo)
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 good game.

"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 the league."

Read more on:    orlando pirates  |  psl  |  soccer
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