Pi­rates given red car­pet treat­ment

BUT THAT DIDN’T EX­TEND TO THE PITCH Mi­cho’s men held by a com­mit­ted FC Plat­inum in Bu­l­awayo.

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT - Tshepo Nt­soe­len­goe

Or­lando Pi­rates were treated to a warm wel­come in Bu­l­awayo as fans flocked the Bar­bours­field Sta­dium to watch their favourite South African club, but there was noth­ing much to cheer about at the end, as Bucs were held to a goal­less draw by FC Plat­inum in the open­ing Caf Group B Cham­pi­ons League tie on Satur­day.

The scenes at Bar­bours­field seemed like Pi­rates were play­ing at home with the Zim­bab­wean fans who sup­port lo­cal side High­landers ral­ly­ing be­hind the Buc­ca­neers in their quest for con­ti­nen­tal glory.

There was plenty of ac­tion from both sides, par­tic­u­larly in the first half, but nei­ther of the sides were able to find the back of the net with the sec­ond half a bit dull in terms of cre­at­ing goal scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, a bit dis­ap­point­ing for spec­ta­tors who packed the sta­dium.

Bucs skip­per Happy Jele was over­whelmed by the sup­port of the lo­cals and be­lieves the club should have done bet­ter.

“The sup­port was awe­some and we loved it. We wanted to get a re­sult, but we couldn’t. All I can say is, it is very good that some of the fans know about Or­lando Pi­rates in Africa and we will just keep go­ing,” said the de­fender.

“We did very well as a team, but some­times we need to be more ag­gres­sive when we are near the goal be­cause it is very im­por­tant to score away from home. But as a team we will take a point.”

The Soweto gi­ants’ coach Mi­cho Sre­do­je­vic, mean­while, was im­pressed with their op­po­nents and said the play­ers played for the team rather than them­selves and the team ef­fort worked well for them.

“The play­ers were ex­tremely im­pres­sive. No­body played for them­selves, they played for the team. And the team ef­fort put them in po­si­tion to play very well against us. In re­spect to the coach and the play­ers, I will not point out an in­di­vid­ual, but I will say they were great in­di­vid­u­als and played very well,” said the for­mer Uganda coach.

Bucs and Plat­inum’s draw wrapped up the open­ing Group B matches with all the sides on one point after reign­ing cham­pi­ons Esper­ance of Tu­nisia were held to a 1-1 draw by Horoya Ath­letic Club of Guinea on Fri­day.

Pic­ture: Backpagepix

IN AWE. Pi­rates cap­tain Happy Jele was amazed to see the fan base the club has in Bu­l­awayo.

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