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Caf Champions League: Mokwena blames poor finishing after Orlando Pirates exit

11:22 EAT 25/08/2019
Rulani Mokwena, Orlando Pirates, August 2019
The coach was disappointed to see Bucs create numerous chances which they failed to convert at the Orlando Stadium

Orlando Pirates caretaker coach Rhulani Mokwena believes his side was unlucky after the club's exit from the 2019/20 Caf Champions League.

The Buccaneers were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Zambian side Green Eagles, who won the preliminary round tie 2-1 on aggregate on Saturday night. 

“If you play the way we played, not just from the tactical perspective but also emotionally, to get the players to go to another gear and the players responded,” Mokwena told SuperSport TV.

“In the second half they put a lot of effort, they really poured their heart and soul. We were unfortunate, I think also we lost it away when we lost 1-0.

"But that’s how the cookie crumbles. It’s Murphy’s law at the moment. Everything that could go wrong goes wrong you know."

The 34-year-old tactician was disappointed to see Pirates conceded a minute after taking the lead against Tonka Twende.

“We spoke about the managing of critical phases. Unfortunately, we scored and you don’t manage the critical phase," he added.

"Immediately after you score, you don’t manage the game. But like I said, it’s Murphy’s law, even the goal comes out of absolutely nothing, the equaliser and it’s where we are at the moment and we just have to soldier on. That’s it.

“We tried what we could do from a technical perspective from the bench, trying to affect the game, we changed the shape a little bit and once we changed the shape in the second half, we were a little bit aggressive; had more numbers in the final third and created chances.

“Sometimes the decision-making was not right, but I can’t ask for more. They fought and gave their best. When you’re defeated by trying and giving your best, you take it as a learning curve and try to improve."

Mokwena feels the pain of the Bucs supporters as the club bowed out of the continental tournament in the preliminary round for the first time since 2012.

“The Buccaneers, we suffer with them, we bleed the same blood. We’re not happy with the result as well, but every team has to go through what we’re going through," he explained.

"It’s like training any sort of muscle, once you go through it, you’re stronger and able to withstand whatever difficulties that mate come your way. We have to take it. We have to be strong and stick together."