Green Eagles: Who are Orlando Pirates' Caf Champions League opponents?

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Goal profiles Bucs' opponents Tonka Tweende ahead of their two matches in Africa's most prestigious club competition

PSL giants Orlando Pirates learned their opponents for the 2019/20 Caf Champions League preliminary round last month, and will have to overcome Zambian side Green Eagles FC in order to advance to the next round of the competition.

The winner on aggregate between the two teams will take on either Angolan champions Clube Desportivo 1º de Agosto or KMKM FC of Zanzibar.

Goal takes a look at Eagles' history and what Pirates should expect from the Super League club, ahead of this weekend's first leg.

Formation

Eagles PS

Eagles were established 22 years ago in Choma which is a market town and capital of the Southern Province of Zambia.

They are known to be an army side because they are sponsored by the country's defence force wing, Zambia National Service (ZNS).

Their nickname is Tonka Tweende a Tonga catchphrase; loosely translated as 'push we go.'

Eagles were promoted to the Zambian Super League for the first time in 2008, but since then they were relegated to the Division One (South) in 2012, only to return in 2014.

Honours

Aggrey Chiyangi coach of Green Eagles of Zambia.j

Eagles are yet to win a major trophy, but they have established themselves as one of the top teams in Zambia in recent years by challenging for the league title consistently.

They qualified for the Caf Confederation Cup for the first time last year after finishing fourth on the 2018 Super Division standings.

Aggrey Chiyangi's side knocked out Young Buffaloes of Eswatini in the preliminary round, but were then eliminated by Algerian side NA Hussein Dey in the first round.

Tonka Tweende then turned their focus to the 2019 Super League which was divided into two groups of ten teams - stream A and stream B.

Eagles won stream B ahead of Buildcon FC and they qualified for championship final to face stream A winners, Zesco United.

Zesco were crowned 2019 Zambian champions after defeating Eagles 3-1 on penalties following a 0-0 stalemate, and both subsequently qualified for this season's Champions League.

They were then invited to the 2019 Cecafa Kagame Cup in Rwanda where Eagles finished third in their debut appearance in the tournament which is contested by clubs from East and Central Africa.

Home ground

Eagles play their home games at the Independence Stadium which is situated in Choma.

The club expanded the capacity at their home ground from 1,000 to 3,000 earlier this year, but the venue does not meet minimum requirements to stage Caf games.

Tonka Tweende will play their first match in the Champions League against Pirates at the Nkoloma Stadium in the capital city of Zambia, Lusaka, where they also played their two home games in the Confederation Cup against Buffaloes and Hussein Dey.

Eagles are undefeated at home in continental competitions as they defeated Buffaloes 2-0, before drawing 0-0 with Hussein Dey.

Coach and key players

Tapson Kaseba, Zambia, June 2019

The club's head coach Chiyangi has been in charge of Eagles since 2017.

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The 55-year-old was named 2018 Zambian Coach of the Year after guiding Tonka Tweende to a fourth-place finish in the Super Division.

Eagles' key players are Sebastian Mwange and Tapson Kaseba, who boast international experience as they are part of the country's national team, Chipolopolo.

Mwange is a highly-rated goalkeeper, and claimed the Golden Glove after helping his nation clinch the Cosafa Cup earlier this year, while Kaseba has established himself as the Eagles' first-choice striker and scored the goal which earned Zambia the victory in the Cosafa Cup final against Botswana.

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