It will be the first ever confrontation between these sides as the Angolans seek to upset the seasoned Buccaneers
Orlando Pirates begin their 2020/21 Caf Confederation Cup campaign with a first round visit to Angola for Tuesday’s clash against Sagrada Esperanca at the Coqueiros Municipal Stadium.
After the disappointment of preliminary round elimination from last season’s Caf Champions League at the hands of Zambian side Green Eagles, Pirates are back in Africa.
They will be hoping for improved fortunes in the second-tier continental club competition, in which they last participated in 2015 when they reached the final and lost to Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel.
It will also be the first time ever for Pirates and Sagrada Esperanca to face each other.
Interestingly, the game in Luanda will be Pirates’ third straight match in three different competitions after lifting the MTN8 trophy on December 12, before beating Chippa United in a league match four days later.
|Game||Sagrada Esperanca vs Orlando Pirates|
|Date||Tuesday, December 22|
|Time||16:00 SA Time|
TV Channel, Live Score & How To Watch
The game will be shown live on SuperSport TV
|Online Streaming||TV Channel|
Squads & Team News
Tuesday’s match will see Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer taking charge of his first ever African inter-club match.
Expectations are high for the German to see if he can steer Pirates back among the most feared sides on the continent, and the 1995 African champions, who also reached the 2013 final of the Caf Champions League, are expected to reach the latter stages of the Confederation Cup.
At his disposal, Zinnbauer has seasoned players in the form of Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo, Ghana number one goalkeeper Richard Ofori, Innocent Maela, Deon Hotto as well as forwards Frank Mhango and Thembinkosi Lorch.
DR Congo forward Jean-Marc Makusu has experience in the Confederation Cup after helping AS Vita reach the final of this tournament in 2018 where he finished as the competition’s second top goalscorer.
It is, however, not yet clear if the Congolese will be available to play on Tuesday.
In terms of match fitness, Pirates go into this match with a huge advantage over their opponents who were last involved in competitive action in March just before the Angolan Girabola was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That tips the odds in favour of Pirates who have played 11 matches across all competitions this season and are yet to lose a single match.
The Buccaneers start their Confederation Cup journey at this stage of the competition after receiving a preliminary round bye. They now face their Angolan opponents, whose last appearance in Africa was a play-off stage exit from the 2016 Confederation Cup after getting past three hurdles.
Sagrada Esperanca accepted to participate in this season’s tournament as replacement for Interclube who opted against taking part. They then earned a first round spot without kicking a ball after their preliminary stage opponents Mbabane Swallows withdrew from the competition.
It is not the first time for the Angolan side to take on a South African opponents side as they eliminated Cape Town Spurs (then as Ajax Cape Town) from this competition in the 2016 edition’s preliminary round on a 3-2 aggregate scoreline.