local soccer 7.8.2013 05:00 am

Sea Robbers target African conquest

Thandani Ntshumayelo of Orlando Pirates during the Carling Black Label Challenge football match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at Soccer City, Johannesburg on the 27 July 2013 ┬ęGavin Barker/BackpagePix

Thandani Ntshumayelo of Orlando Pirates during the Carling Black Label Challenge football match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates at Soccer City, Johannesburg on the 27 July 2013 ┬ęGavin Barker/BackpagePix

Thandani Ntshumayelo, right, said Orlando Pirates have made the Caf Champions League trophy their priority.

The Sea Robbers’ 3-0 win over title-holders Al-Ahly in Egypt on Sunday heightened their ambition for a second continental crown.

“Yes, when we started in the tournament we had a meeting with the coach and in that meeting we all agreed to make sure we make a meaningful challenge to win this cup,” Ntshumayelo said yesterday after the Buccaneers arrived at the OR Tambo international airport to the sounds of vuvuzelas from their fans.

Roger De Sa’s troops made history at the El-Gouna Stadium as goals from Ntshumayelo, Andile Jali and Sifiso Myeni ensured Bucs were the first South African side to beat Al-Ahly away from home.

Ntshumayelo’s goal on the afternoon in a match played behind closed doors was a marvel as he played a one-two with striker Collins Mbesuma before the nippy midfielder slotted the ball home.

Jali scored from the penalty spot, while Myeni profited from a through ball by Jali who had one of his best games in Pirates kit.

This fixture was in doubt as the home team had a postponement request turned down by Caf with the same happening for Pirates as they sought it to be played at a neutral venue.

The seven-time African Champions cited lack of strength from their players as their reason given that they are fasting as its their holy month of Ramadan while the ongoing turmoil in Cairo prompted Pirates to have safety concerns. The win, according to Ntshumayelo, has made the team believe they can go all the way in the competition.

“I think our team just needs to stick together and if that happens then we have the chance to do well,” he said.

The team now shifts focus to the domestic front as they play their opening Premiership season fixture against AmaZulu tomorrow night at the FNB Stadium.

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