De Sa happy with Pirates fringe players after Caf Champions League win

Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa was content following Pirates 2-1 win over Zanaco FC, as his side progressed into the next round of the Caf Champions League
Orlando Pirates defeated Zanaco FC 2-1 at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday night, with substitute Mpho Makola sealing the tie for the Buccaneers with a free-kick in the second half.

Coach Roger de Sa praised his fringe players for stepping up to the plate on a night where Zanaco could have caused the home side trouble after Musonda Mwape headed home to bring the Zambian champions back into the match early in the second half.

But the Buccaneers restored clarity when Mpho Makola took his opportunity as a second half substitute and buried a free-kick to give Pirates a 3-1 advantage in the tie.

“I am happy that our players who have been fringe players are doing well with the chance they are getting and are now becoming regulars,” De Sa said after the match.

“Masuku has grabbed his chance and also scored and I am also happy for Makola as he came in and scored. With injuries [to the squad] he might become a regular.”

“Our away goal was very crucial but we wanted to forget it going into the match. We got a scare when they got that goal but after that we controlled the game like we did in the first leg in Zambia.”

Zanaco coach Keegan Mumba believes his side defended poorly during the match and could have punished Pirates more severely over both legs.

“After being level at 1-1, we allowed a silly goal, and also having conceded the away goal the battle was getting tougher as the match progressed.

“Honestly though, Pirates never worked for any of the goals they scored. The first one was taken from far and the second one was a set-piece.

“I think also we were affected by losing our central defender through injury. But we played better than we played in the first leg but I still think it was not our day. Congratulations to Orlando Pirates for going through to the next round.