Orlando Pirates will have to fight past tough opposition in the Caf Confederation Cup group stages, after being drawn in Group A on Monday.
The Buccaneers will be facing Enyimba of Nigeria, ES Setif of Algeria and Libyian outfit Ahli Benghazi, with the top two in the group qualifying for the quarterfinals.
Both Benghazi and Enyimba were knocked out in the final qualifying round for the Caf Champions League group stages.
The club from Libya just missed out at the hands of Esperance of Tunisia. But Benghazi still had to fight their way through to this stage of the Confedeation Cup, via a penalty shootout which which they ended up winning 8-7 against Congolese side Motema Pembe.
Enyimba also had to rely on penalties to advance to the last 16, edging past countryment Rivers FC 5-4 in a shootout.
Meanwhile Setif, who also have a vast of experience playing continental football, won 2-0 on aggregate against Ghana outfit Asante Kotoko in the Confederation Cup play-offs.
There is no doubt Pirates head coach Josef Zinnbauer and his charges will find it hard to come up against such experienced sides, but they do have continental pedigree of their own, winning the Champions League in 1996, reaching the Champions League final in 2013, and the Confederation Cup final in 2015.
After securing their place in the group stages following their 4-0 win against Jwaneng Galaxy last Sunday, the Bucs coach predicted that they were bound to go up against teams knocked out of the Champions League.
“We have to see what happens with our next opponents. It’s not easy, because you will find a Champions League opponent in the group maybe. But we know it’s not easy in the group stages. It’s difficult and hard work, but all teams have a chance to win this cup. We have to see what happens,” said the Bucs mentor.
Raja Club Athletic
Namungo SC/Primeiro Agosto