But Buccaneers plan to return to the DRC wiser, with the aim of securing an on the Léopards home turf
Orlando Pirates should brace themselves for a bumpy ride when they take on not just one of the top teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but also their notorious turf, on Saturday. The Buccaneers begin their quest to annex the CAF Confederation Cup with a tricky away trip to the DRC’s AC Léopards at the Stade Denis Sassou Nguesso, where they lost 1- 0 in 2013.
They will aim to avenge that CAF Champions League defeat when they take on the Léopards on their own happy hunting ground.
Assistant coach Teboho Moloi said they were wiser this time around and would not be caught napping.
Moloi said they knew what to expect in the DRC and were preparing accordingly.
“We learnt our lesson in 2013. We had no clue then what to expect, but now we are wiser.
“They took us to a bumpy pitch that our boys struggled to master but we have been preparing on a similar type of a pitch,” he explained.
Moloi said the bumpy pitch had resulted in players struggling to string passes together and they could not play their normal flowing game.
“The pitch is like gravel and it’s quite bumpy. Their advantage is that they know how to play in such conditions, as they are not a ball-playing team.
“They are more like kick and rush, and are physical, which works for them.
“They know that for them to get one over us they must take us there [in the DRC], because they will have their hands full on a good field.”
Moloi has called for his players to return to the basics and remember that the DRC field is not smooth.
He pointed out that this year they could not be taken by surprise in any aspect.
“We want to start on a winning note, as that will give us confidence. But if you look at where we come from, we have been doing well in away matches and credit should go to our boys, who have shown they can fight.”
Pirates will welcome back Mpho Makola and Siyabonga Sangweni. The pair missed the game against AS Kaloum Star of Mali.
But they will be without Thamsanqa Gabuza, who netted twice against the Malians. He has been suspended.
Captain Oupa Manyisa has shrugged off the shin injury he sustained on national duty when Bafana played Gambia in a goalless Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last weekend.
Pirates will next host Egyptian giants Zamalek early next month.