Football

Orlando Pirates’ Zinnbauer has done his homework on Sagrada Esperanca

The 50-year-old tactician is expecting a difficult match against the one-time Angolan champions, who will be hoping to cause an upset

Orlando Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer says he has done his homework on Sagrada Esperanca ahead of their Caf Confederation Cup encounter. 

Esperanca are set to host the Buccaneers in the first round first-leg match in Angola on December 22. 

The Angolan club advanced to this stage after their preliminary round opponents Mbabane Swallows of Eswatini withdrew from the competition due to financial reasons.

Zinnbauer revealed that they have footage of Esperanca in action and he has since come up with a game plan. 

“We have information about the team and we know what we have to do against them‚” Zinnbauer told the media. 

“It is not going to be an easy game for us because away games are always difficult on the continent.

“The opponent is not so bad and they look good because I have watched them together with the other coaches when we were analysing them.”

Pirates maintained their unbeaten record this season by securing a 1-0 win over Chippa United in a PSL match at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night.

It was the Buccaneers’ last league match of the year and Zinnbauer said they can now focus on their continental encounter with Esperanca. 

“We have the information that we need. The focus was on the match against Chippa,” the German mentor added. 

“And from Thursday we start with preparations for our next game against them [Esperanca].”

Established in 1976, Esperanca are no strangers to continental football having participated in the Caf Champions League twice in 2005 and 2006. 

However, they will be making their debut appearance in the Confederation Cup.

The Dundo-based side took part in the old Caf Cup and Caf Cup Winners’ Cup, but the tournaments have since merged to form the Confederation Cup in 2004.

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