local soccer 3.8.2013 10:00 am

Bucs enter rough seas

Orlando Pirates’ trip to Cairo can be likened to the Biblical story of Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den.

The Sea Robbers have landed in the Egyptian capital for their Caf Champions League match against Al-Ahly tomorrow with their minds firmly focused on what could happen to them on and off the field.

Currently, the North African city is a war zone since the military forced a coup d’├ętat on President Mohamed Morsi which has seen violent protests and nearly 300 deaths.

Apart from that, the home side wanted the game postponed as they are observing their holy month of Ramadan, fasting from dawn till dusk, a request declined by Caf.

This week, Pirates coach Roger De Sa said his team’s itinerary was arrival, training, getting locked in the hotel, then play the match and leave. His summary tells you how rigid his preparations for the game are.

Under normal circumstances no team should prepare for a match in this fashion.

But as national team coach Gordon Igesund would say the show must go on.

And De Sa said he is astonished by the commitment of his players to take three points away from the defending Champions League champions at El Gouna Stadium in the city 430km from Cairo.

“I think the guys’ focus for this game has been phenomenal,” De Sa told his club website.

“The level of commitment and focus at training the last couple of days has been immense. I think they are ready for the battle in El Gouna.

“It won’t be easy of course, but I think most of the guys understand what victory will mean to them and to the supporters of this club.”

The match starts at 4.30pm.

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