Pirates saw their hopes of following in the footsteps of the 1995 team dashed after failing to reach the quarterfinals following their 2-1 loss to Horoya AC at the September 28 Stadium in Conakry, Guinea on Saturday.
The defeat saw Bucs exit the competition after finishing third in Group B standings with six points from six games, while Horoya finished as runners-up with 10 points, joining group leaders Esperance of Tunisia who finished on 14 points, in the last eight of the competition.
“We were not good in the second half. Congratulations to Horoya. We have learned a lesson. This was our 10th match after a six-year absence from the Champions League.
“We have learned so much in the qualifying campaign and group stage. This experience will help us in the years to come.
“We want to put the second star on our shirt. But for that, you need to pay the scholarship, you need to go to school and we have learned our lessons,” the Pirates coach told the media after the game.
The Soweto giants’ failure to reach the last eight of the continental competition is a huge blow for the club in their quest for silverware, leaving them to now battle it out for the Absa Premiership title, where they still stand a chance to claim a trophy, having last lifted any official cup back in 2014.
Pirates find themselves in third spot on the Absa Premiership League standings with 40 points from 23 matches. They trail second-placed Bidvest Wits by one point and are three points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who are on 43 points from the same number of games.
Sredojevic will have some time with his players to recover from the Champions League setback in the two weeks of the international break. They return to action with a league game against Black Leopards at Orlando Stadium on March 29.