Milutin Sredojevic: Loss of concentration cost Orlando Pirates against Esperance de Tunis

The defeat saw Bucs slip down to third place on the group standings and they are now three points behind the leaders, Esperance with two games left

Orlando Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic admits that his charges lost concentration and were punished by Esperance de Tunis on Tuesday afternoon.

The Buccaneers suffered their maiden defeat in the Caf Champions League when Tunisian giants Esperance beat them 2-0 at the Stade El Menzah in Tunis.

Pirates were coming off a 1-1 draw with their arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs in a Premier Soccer League (PSL) match which saw Micho's charges fight back to hold Amakhosi on Saturday.

“We came here immediately after a really tough match on Saturday with the intention to recover, and we did everything possible to do so physically and mentally,” Sredojevic told the media.

Esperance grabbed an early lead in the 16th minute through Anice Badri and Haythem Jouini sealed the hosts' 2-0 victory in the dying minutes of the game.

“We entered the match very strongly and did very well until one moment of losing concentration cost us so much in that set-piece. Once you fall down, as we did in the first half, you’re practically forced to put yourself in extra-attacking mode, risking and using more striking forces to try and equalise," he continued.

“During the period of looking to equalise, we conceded the second goal which practically put the game beyond our control," the 49-year-old, who led Bucs to the 2006 Champions League semi-finals explained.

Sredojevic then urged his troops to show character and bounce back in their last two Group B matches which are against Zimbabwean side FC Platinum and Guinean giants Horoya which would see Bucs advance to the quarter-finals.

“Congratulations to the team of Esperance for winning. For us, we did not lose the match but learnt a lesson on how, in tough conditions away from home, you are supposed to look for a much better performance and result,” he said.

“We need now to be strong enough and show character by responding in the last two matches in the group stages against FC Platinum and Horoya with determination to qualify for the quarterfinals," he concluded.