BRACE FOR A TOUGH ENCOUNTER UP NORTH
Orlando Pirates are bracing themselves for a backlash when they visit CS Sfaxien in Sfax, Tunisia, next weekend. The Tunisians have yet to win a game in the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup after losing their first to Zamalek and then playing to a draw with AC Léopards.
Sfaxien know their chances of advancing to the semifinals of the tournament will be slim if they drop more points, particularly at home.
Pirates will also be hoping to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat to Zamalek.
But they are second on the log while Sfaxien are languishing at the bottom of the group with a single point.
Pirates will welcome back defender Siyabonga Sangweni, who missed last weekend’s match because of a death in the family.
Goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo may be relegated to the bench after conceding two goals last weekend.
The arrival of Equatorial Guinea’s number one goalkeeper, Felipe Ovono, who has already been registered for the tournament, could mean Mhlongo’s replacement.
Ovono’s registration ahead of Siyabonga Mpontshane has raised eyebrows in football circles.
Mpontshane, who joined Bucs in the January transfer window period, has struggled for game time since moving from Platinum Stars. He failed to give Mhlongo the elbow from the line-up and has made only two appearances.
It was expected that Mpontshane would be the first name to be added to the team list when the CAF registration opened at the beginning of this month.
Instead, Pirates registered 21-year-old Ovono, who played at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations in his home country.
Ovono’s arrival could spell more trouble for Mpontshane, as the goalkeeper looks likely to drop even further in the pecking order.
Pirates are left with two slots to fill after they registered Menzi Masuku and Gift Motupa. City Press has learnt that these slots will be taken by Tendai Ndoro and Edwin Gyimah.
The two will not be in the team taking on Sfaxien because they are still waiting for their work permits.
EXPERIENCED Felipe Ovono was
on the bench against Zamalek