Pirates coach Ncikazi hails Ofori after Caf Cup heroics
"I’ve never seen him miss in all my history," says Ncikazi.
Richard Ofori scored the winning penalty got Orlando Pirates against Simba SC on Sunday. (Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix)
Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi says if it was up to him goalkeeper Richard Ofori would take the first kick during a penalty shootout.
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This comes after the Ghanaian goalkeeper scored the penalty, which guaranteed the Buccaneers a place in the semi-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup.
Ofori stopped winger Thembinkosi Lorch from taking the penalty and took the responsibility of taking the winning penalty having saved one and Simba SC missing another in the shoot-out, while Pirates only missed one through Tshegofatso Mabasa. Pirates eventually won the shootout 4-3.
“If I had a chance, Ofori would be the first one to take a penalty. He is a good penalty taker. I’ve never seen him miss in all my history. I’m even thinking of other penalty shootouts we didn’t win, if he took one maybe it would’ve been different, in hindsight. He’s a good penalty taker,” said Ncikazi.
In reaching the last four of the continental tournament, Ncikazi says this is nothing new to Pirates with the team having done well in the past in Caf tournaments also winning the Champions League in 1995.
Pirates also finished as runners-up to Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the same competition in 2013 and they have also reached the final of the Confed Cup in 2015.
“Roger De Sa and Eric Tinkler went to the final in 2013 and 2015 respectively, The team won the title in 1995. I don’t think there is anything new about reaching the final,” he added.
“It also helps us that some of the players (Happy Jele) have also been part of that history. So that experience helps. But we are in the competition to win it. We are not in the competition to make numbers. History backs us.”