Orlando Pirates have found themselves sauntering into the group stages of the Caf Confederation Cup having only played the first leg of the play-offs.
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This is after Liberian outfit LPRC Oilers withdrew from playing the second leg, which was schedule for Orlando Stadium on Sunday.
The Buccaneers were going into the return leg having put one foot into qualifying for the group phase after the side won 2-0, courtesy of Tshegofatso Mabasa and Fortune Makaringe at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Liberia last weekend.
Pirates, who were scheduled to have a press-conference on Friday ahead of the tie against Oilers, confirmed that the Liberian side had withdrawn.
Reasons behind the withdrawal are yet to be known, but could be because of the new coronavirus variant Omicron, in South Africa, which has seen a rise in number of cases in Gauteng.
“Kindly note we have been informed of the withdrawal of LPRC Oilers from TotalEnergies Caf Confederation Cup this season,” the Buccaneers announced.
Pirates, meanwhile, were going into the tie against Oilers having played to a goalless draw with Baroka FC at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday, a result they were really not proud of after having dominated the most part of the game.
The Soweto giants had their tails held high going into the Bakgaga clash, with the club recording two consecutive victories in all competitions, but they had to settle for a point in the end.
Pirates co-coaches Fadlu Davids and Mandla Ncikazi, however, will be happy about not conceding again in their match against Baroka. Bucs now has four clean sheets in their past four games.
Now that the side has concluded their passage into the group phase of the continental tournament, the focus for the rest of the year would be to climb up the log table, where two of their rivals Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs occupy first (30 points) and second (22points) spots respectively.
Pirates have six games before the Christmas break and their next encounter will be a clash against AmaZulu FC on 8 December at home.