Orlando Pirates coach Micho Sredojevi admitted their Soweto derby clash against Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday took a toll on them, which is why they suffered a 2-0 defeat against Esperance in the Caf Champions League game at Stade El Menzha on Tuesday.
Bucs had to fly to Tunisia straight after the Chiefs game, arriving in the North African country last Sunday, and they only had one training session prior to the match.
“We came into this match at the back of a very tough match. We did everything possible to help the team recover in the physical and mental aspects,” said the Bucs coach after the match.
“We have acted very strong, we did very well until one moment of losing concentration cost us so much from a set-piece.
“The moment you fall down from a result like we did in the first half, we practically forced ourselves to go on extra-attacking mode looking to equalise.
“While on that, we conceded the second goal which practically put the game out of our control.”
The loss saw Bucs drop to third in Group B with five points after four games, with Esperance on top with eight points and Guinea-based Horoya second, having accumulated seven points after their win against Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum.
Pirates must win their last two fixtures in the group stages to advance in the tournament.
“We have not lost the match,” Sredojevi said. “We learned a lesson on how to handle tough conditions away and look for a much better performance and result [next time].
“We need to show character against Horoya and FC Platinum, which will determine our qualification to the quarterfinals.”
Bucs’ next Caf game is at home against FC Platinum on March 8, but before then, they bump SuperSport United on February 20.