Despite their failure to take the Premier Soccer League (PSL) race to the last game of the season, Orlando Pirates coach Milutin Sredojevic has congratulated rivals and new league champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Serbian manager took over the reigns at the Soweto giants and managed to turn things around this season as they are set to finish as runners-up.
Pirates failed to qualify for the MTN8 last season as they finished outside of the top eight bracket for the first time in the history of the PSL.
In their last match, Pirates lost 1-0 to Cape Town City in the Mother City, but their coach Micho has admitted that his men tried to play a good brand of football this term.
For the Brazilians, they beat Ajax Cape Town 3-1 at home to secure their eighth league title, their third under Pitso Mosimane – they now lead the Buccaneers by seven points heading to the final round of matches set for May 12.
Pirates have 52 points and the loss meant they could not narrow the gap on the log table allowing Mosimane and his men to dethrone Bidvest Wits.
The former Uganda national team coach said he will be a true gentleman and congratulate his counterpart, Mosimane, the players, management and the champions’ technical team.
"I have to be a gentleman but we have to promise them (Sundowns) much fierce competition next season,” he said after their loss to SuperSport TV.
"I want to congratulate them they've been at the top undisputed for much of the season, I congratulate my colleague Pitso Mosimane and the management (of Sundowns)," he expressed.
"Both teams will represent the country in (CAF) Champions League next season.," he continued.
"We believe we have had a wonderful season behind us with one match to go. In the first half of the season, we brought to bring stability. It's a process, we grew up as a team," he reflected.
"I want to thank the players for working hard, they have had sleepless and hard working days," he concluded.
The 1995 African champions will face off against Free State State Stars in their final match of the season at home.