Sport / Phakaaathi / Local Soccer

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe
Football Writer
2 minute read
25 Oct 2021
2:57 pm

Jele happy, but brushes aside own heroics, credits team spirit

Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

'It's not about me alone, but the team. We fought', says the Bucs skipper

Happy Jele of Orlando Pirates (Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)

Orlando Pirates captain-fantastic Happy Jele has brushed aside his exploits where he scored the winning goal against Diables Noirs, instead, lauding his teammates for sauntering into the next round of the Caf Confederations Cup.

READ ALSO: Altered Champions League schedule a welcome bonus for Sundowns

Pirates edged the Congolese side 1-0 on aggregate in the second leg played at the Orlando Stadium last Sunday, with the sides having played to a goalless draw in the first leg in Brazzaville.

Jele scored the winning goal early on in the 17th minute, which was enough to see the Soweto giants sail through to the last round of the qualifiers before entering into the group stages, but the Bucs defender admitted that they could have scored more.

“I think it starts from the team, each and every-one delivered today. We wanted to win this game so that we could go to the next round. So, it is not about me alone, but it is about the team. We did well as a team, we fought, and yeah, we are through to the next round,” said the Bucs skipper.

“I think we started well in the first-half, we created a lot of chances, but we didn’t manage to convert them. And obviously after taking a 1-0 lead, the guys (Diables) wanted to come back and equalise.”

Jele, who became the player with the most appearances at the Buccaneers having played over 400 games for Pirates delivered for the club when it mattered most, with the Soweto giants having been struggling with putting the ball into the back of the net in their last two games prior to the return leg with Diables.

With business in Africa concluded for now, the Soweto giants will be hoping their victory over the Black Devils boost their spirits going into the DStv Premiership, where they are set to host a tricky Royal AM side in Soweto on Thursday.

Having played seven games in the league, the Buccaneers have only managed to register two wins, four draws and one loss. They are sitting in position seven on the league standings with 10 points, nine points behind top of the table side Mamelodi Sundowns.