Steve Lekoelea: Orlando Pirates will rise to the occasion against Horoya

Bolaji Sakin, Horoya & Happy Jele, Orlando Pirates, January 2019
The former dribbling wizard insists the Soweto giants can reach the quarter-finals of the continental tournament

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Steve Lekoelea is confident the Buccaneers can return to winning ways and secure their passage into the next round of the Caf Champions League.

Pirates are under pressure to beat AC Horoya in their final group game as they go in search of victory, but the former dribbling wizard says it will not be an easy challenge.

“They must take their chances for them to make it into the next stage. It is possible because they play good football, but it’s a difficult match to be honest,” Lekoelea told Goal.

“I think they had a chance to boost their chances in the previous match at home against FC Platinum, but they failed to take their chances,” he said.

“Because this is now a must-win, I am confident they can win and I am certain the strikers have done their homework heading to this match. I can call it a 'wafa wafa' for them,” he added.

Having defeated the Guinean outfit 3-1 at Orlando Stadium at the beginning of the year, the former Soweto giants’ fan favourite has urged Pirates to remain disciplined.

“Yeah they must change their attitude, their mentality and forget about the win back home because they might perhaps undermine Horoya if they think of that win,” he continued.

“This is one of the toughest games in their campaign because if they lose it is over for them. I believe they will rise to the occasion and come back with a win because they are rested,” he said.

“On the other hand, they can count on their previous experience in the Caf Confederation Cup and in this tournament, they are not newcomers,” responded the legend.

Speaking about the fact that the 1995 African champions have only won once in Group B, registering three draws and a single loss, the former Moroka Swallows star says coach Milutin Sredojevic must stick to his best eleven.

“It is possible to beat this team for the second time because Pirates have quality in all departments,” he responded.

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“My only concern is that coach Micho is not really sure when it comes to his trusted eleven. He is a good coach there is no doubt about that,” said the Sebokeng-born.

“Together with his assistants in Fadlu (Davids) and Rulani (Mokwena), they have built a strong team, but I think chopping and changing brings some instability in the team,” he revealed.

“I have confidence in them, but a strong mentality is needed to beat Horoya and reach the next stage,” concluded Lekoelea.