Pirates face tough expedition to Tunis

Milutin Sredojevic
Milutin Sredojevic

Orlando Pirates are aware that Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Esperance de Tunis at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto has made life tougher in progressing past Group B in the Caf Champions League.

Bucs coach Milutin Sredojevic expressed his regret that his team‚ managing to dominate against the defending champions‚ could not create a few more chances‚ and also could not profit from the some clear opportunities that they did manufacture against the organised North Africans.

Sredojevic will be aware that Pirates‚ though they retained top spot on goal difference from the Tunisian giants‚ are left with a tough expedition to Tunis‚ even if Esperance must play in front of a closed stadium due to a two-match crowd ban‚ on February 12.

Bucs will be happy to get a point out of that game.

They should manage three points on March 8 at home to Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum‚ who are yet to win a game.

Then they may need a point away against Guinea’s Horoya in their final game on March 16 to progress‚ depending how the group pans out.

Sredojevic said Saturday night’s clash‚ which saw Pirates stroking the ball around smoothly against classy Esperance‚ was a “game of chess”.

“We played a very good team. They knew us well.

“And they set up exactly to match us in areas where we are strong‚” Bucs’ coach said.

“In that way it was not just a football game‚ it was a tactical game of chess; where we had three-on-three in the midfield‚ where they had two wingers wide and [a] leading striker trying towards our goal‚ and we had three players going towards their goal.

“It is a bitter feeling that we played very well against a very good team‚ but that important factor of scoring a goal was not there,” Sredojevic said.