Pirates will have to be on top of their game against Horoya
Bucs need to beat the hosts, whose home form has been impressive, to advance to the Champions League quarterfinals
Orlando Pirates will not fall into the trap of thinking about the quarterfinals of the Champions League and will rather focus fully on negotiating their way past Horoya‚ the Guinea team they meet in their final group match in Conakry on Saturday.
Pirates goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands says they have a tough away assignment that requires their focus and they cannot look beyond their immediate challenge.
“We know that it’s going to be a very difficult game and we know we are going to have to be at our best in every aspect‚” said Sandilands‚ who alongside skipper Happy Jele and Thabo Matlaba are the only surviving members of the team that lost in the final of the Champions League against Al Ahly of Egypt in 2013.
“So look‚ it’s not impossible but we know that we have to be on top of our game and be able to handle the pressure and all that they throw at us. We are trying to just focus on the process and not to look too far ahead. We believe that if we focus on this one‚ our processes come the end of the 90 minutes will be to win a match and progress.”
Pirates need a victory to book their place in the quarterfinals. But playing against a team that has not lost at home in their last 20 matches in Caf competitions will be tough‚ as Sandilands conceded.
While Horoya lost 3-0 away to Pirates in their second Group B match and 2-0 away to Esperance in Tunisia last week‚ their form at home this season has seen them collect four points.
The difference for Horoya is that they have collected the full spoils at home and away against the eliminated Zimbabwean club FC Platinum. A draw in Conakry will be enough to see them through, alongside Esperance while the Bucs‚ who trail the Guinean club by one point‚ need a victory.
“I think the preparations have been good‚” said Sandilands. “I feel good about it and about the game‚ but obviously come the day it’s not about the talk.
“It’s about doing the action. We don’t want to speak too much. We just want to focus step by step and hopefully do the talking on the field."