Pirates: Lekgwathi’s back, Masalesa gets nod

2013-11-08 10:31

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Orlando Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi is back to lead to the team in the final of the CAF Champions League against Al Ahly in Egypt on Sunday.

The suspension of stand-in skipper Happy Jele means Lekgwathi reclaims his position in the starting line-up after missing the club’s four previous matches.

The 37-year-old last played against the same Al Ahly in September but was on the bench in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Orlando Stadium.

Another player who will get the nod on Sunday is young Lehlogonolo Masalesa, who enters in the place of the suspended Andile Jali in the middle of the park.

This was revealed by coach Roger De Sa, who said he was confident the two would fit in well into the team.

De Sa said he would not tamper too much with his selection, saying Lekgwathi would go straight to the right back and Masalesa in the middle of the park.

“It’s a straight swop,” said De Sa, after the team touched down in Cairo yesterday.

De Sa said the players were aware of the importance of the magnitude of the game and would go out and do the country proud.

It is now or never for the Bucs as their moment of truth has arrived. Kick-off is at 6pm SA time on Sunday.

This is Pirates’ third visit to Egypt and De Sa was hoping it would be a successful one after losing the last time they were here.

They did beat Al Ahly 3-0 in their first visit but lost to Zamalek in their second visit.

They were again in transit here a fortnight ago en route to Tunisia and De Sa said they were accustomed to the Egyptian conditions.

After their 1-1 draw at home last weekend, Pirates need an outright victory or a high-scoring draw to win the trophy. Another goalless draw would see the game go straight to penalties.

De Sa said he expected the hosts to be cautious in their approach as they have an away-goal advantage.

“They are leading and for them a goalless draw will suffice but for us we need to go at them because we need to score. But I don’t expect them to sit back and wait for us because they are adventurous but very structured. They won’t give much away but we have a surprise element for them.”

» Molobi is in Cairo

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