Absa Premiership

Fly the flag, Sea Robbers!

2015-11-29 12:40
Kermit Erasmus (Gallo Images)

‘If they did it in 1995, we can do it too.” This was the Orlando Pirates players’ rallying message to their supporters before jetting out of the country for Tunisia on Thursday.

As they take on Étoile du Sahel in the second leg of the CAF Confederation Cup final this afternoon, the Pirates class of 2015 believe they are a game away from emulating the class of 1995.

“When the class of ’95 went to Abidjan [in Ivory Coast], they had conceded two goals at home, but the guys believed and backed themselves to do the impossible,” said striker Kermit Erasmus.

“All it took was just one goal, and the rest is history. This group has some of the best players in the country, and we have given everything through our current CAF journey, and now we have nothing to lose. We simply have to go there and get back that away goal.”

After a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg last weekend, Pirates must score in Sousse, Tunisia, if they are to stand a chance of lifting the second-tier continental cup.

This week, Pirates coach Eric Tinkler accused the Tunisians of being disrespectful after they celebrated their goal in front of the Bucs bench last Saturday.

There would be no better revenge for Bucs than trouncing Du Sahel in their own back yard.

Pirates will be without Thandani Ntshumayelo, who is suspended for this game.

However, in crafter Issa Sarr they have a capable replacement, who should be able to fill the void left by the nippy midfielder.

Last week’s goal scorer, Thamsanqa Gabuza, will be carrying not only the hopes of Bucs supporters, but the nation’s hopes too.

Gabuza is the competition’s joint leading scorer, on six goals, and he will fight for the golden boot award with Du Sahel’s Baghdad Bounedjah in this afternoon’s final match.

Kickoff for the match was initially at 8.30pm SA time, but it has been brought forward to 4pm (also SA time) due to security concerns in Tunisia after 12 people were killed in a bus explosion this week.

Key factors for Pirates

Knowing that they need to score after conceding at home, Pirates will play with the intent to score goals. They have nothing to lose, as they need to take the game to the hosts.

Good travellers

Although they failed in 2013 in the final of the CAF Champions League against Al Ahly, history shows that Pirates do well when they play away from home.

Tinkler’s men go into the game having scored in every single fixture of their campaign so far, and as the top scorers in the tournament. They have lost just one game away from home in the tournament, against Zamalek, and will be confident that they can at least get a goal in Tunisia.

Defensive frailties

Pirates were a bit disorganised at the back last Saturday, as they were often caught square. They must change the way they defend, especially on set pieces, as Du Sahel showed they were good in that department. Concentration will be also be key today.


Pirates need to be bolder and show aggression from the beginning. They need to rise to the occasion, especially because no one is giving them a chance to win away from home. Consider Du Sahel’s impressive home record, logging 17 wins in 20 home games in all competitions since November last year.

They have also kept clean sheets in five of their seven home games in this year’s tournament.


The atmosphere at the Olympic Stadium in Sousse will not be welcoming to the Buccaneers, but they cannot allow that to intimidate them. They will face a hostile reception, but they should be used to this by now.

Having faced Al Ahly’s Ultras fans in Cairo, they should be able to handle the pressure. They can easily turn this to their advantage by silencing the crowd with an early goal, which will force Du Sahel to come out.

First prize: $635 000 (R9 million)

Second prize: $432 000

Time: 4pm

Channels: SABC1, SS4

Referee: Neant Alioum

Assistants: Evarist Menkouande and Elvis Guy Noupue Nguegoue


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Saturday, 18 January 2020
Black Leopards v Kaizer Chiefs, Thohoyandou Stadium 15:30
Orlando Pirates v Highlands Park, Orlando Stadium 18:00
Cape Town City v Wits, Cape Town Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 19 January 2020
SuperSport United v Mamelodi Sundowns, Lucas Moripe Stadium 15:30
Bloemfontein Celtic v Chippa United, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Polokwane City v Golden Arrows, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Friday, 24 January 2020
Cape Town City v Black Leopards, Cape Town Stadium 15:30
SuperSport United v Chippa United, Lucas Moripe Stadium 20:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

And the 2019/20 Absa Premiership champions will be ... ?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.