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Orlando Pirates' draw with Esperance did not do too much damage, says Edward Motale

11:02 GMT 04/02/2019
Edward MaGents Motale
The African Champions League winner with the Ghosts has rued the draw at Orlando Stadium, but is confident Pirates will reach the knockout stages

Former Orlando Pirates skipper Edward Motale has backed the Buccaneers to bounce back with a win in Tunisia next week but has lamented the 0-0 draw at home.

Pirates played out to a goalless draw against Esperance de Tunis on Saturday night in their third Caf Champions League group stage match and ‘Magents’ says a win could have boosted his former team heading into the clash set for next Tuesday.

"I don’t think the draw has done much damage as far as their knockout qualification ambitions are concerned because they have three games to play and are doing well,” Motale told Goal.

“I think they still have a chance, but if they managed to win at home it could have been better as they will go to Tunisia next week. I know it will be tough in the North,” he explained.

“If you look at it, the best plan or to have the easiest run in the tournament is to win at home because the North Africans will have tricks and mind games to disturb your focus,” he said.

The former Bafana Bafana defender was part of the Pirates squad that lifted their only continental trophy in 1995 and says coach Milutin Sredojevic’s men will need to be mentally strong in Tunisia.

“I think they can get a good result if they are mentally strong for the game next week. All North African teams behave the same way and they must just focus on the result and forget about the dirty tricks,” he warned.

“An early goal will definitely help Pirates in Tunisia, that will also unsettle the hosts to play a good game and forget about time wasting tricks because it will be very difficult if they allow Esperance to score first,” said Motale.

On the fact that the Soweto giants are yet to concede and lose a game after playing three matches in Group B so far, Motale says they just need to remain consistent and keep up the good work.

Pirates drew 0-0 against FC Platinum, beat AC Horoya and secured another point at home last weekend, and now sit second with five points from three games.

“I am happy with that because they didn’t start the season very well, they conceded goals and they are improving now,” reacted Motale.

“Even if they are not scoring goals, they remain solid at the back and that is a huge motivating factor. I think there’s a quality technical staff, but it’s all about working on finer details and maintaining the same line-up to improve their understanding,” he concluded.