De Sa calls on Pirates supporters to fill home stadium

2013-11-12 15:55

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Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa has called on local supporters to turn out in their numbers every time the Soweto side play on home turf.

“Unfortunately, at home we don’t seem to respect this competition as much as the rest of the continent does,” De Sa said at OR Tambo International today.

“I think we have to start doing that more. Back your team from home. That’s what the Egyptians did – they supported their team.”

Pirates failed in their bid for a second African Champions League title after a 2-0 loss to Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the second-leg of the final at the Arab Contractors Stadium in Cairo on Sunday.

The Buccaneers were met by more than 30 000 fanatical supporters who turned the venue into a cauldron, a formidable arena for any visiting team.

De Sa said he was delighted to have played in front of such a big crowd, and praised his players for taking it in their stride and performing well on the day, despite the disappointing result.

“To see and feel that vibe was unbelievable,” De Sa said.

“Yet my players still performed against all that, so I was happy with everything all round.

“We thought it was great to see – the way they [Al Ahly supporters] fill stadiums and the way they sing and support their team, no matter what. It is an example to all our supporters.”

Al Ahly captured their eighth title in the illustrious competition, winning 3-1 on aggregate after drawing the first leg 1-1 at Orlando Stadium on November 2.

The match was marred slightly by Al Ahly supporters shining green laser lights into the eyes of opposing players in an attempt to distract them.

“We experienced the lasers in Tunisia (during the semi-final against Espérance), but not as much as we saw in Egypt,” he said.

“It’s not an excuse, though, and if we take them on again – bring on the lasers.

“But it’s not nice. It dampened the whole atmosphere of a fanatic crowd with fantastic support, so it was a little bit disappointing on that front,” said De Sa.

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