Upstarts African Stars preparing an ambush for Orlando Pirates

19 December 2018 - 15:29 By Sazi Hadebe
Players shaking hands after the game during the CAF Champions League match between Orlando Pirates and African Stars at Orlando Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Players shaking hands after the game during the CAF Champions League match between Orlando Pirates and African Stars at Orlando Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gallo Images

African Stars coach Bobby Samaria only had one week to prepare his Namibian outfit for their CAF Champions League encounter against Orlando Pirates and now fancies the upstarts' chances ahead of the second meeting between the two sides on Saturday.

Stars host Pirates at Sam Nojuma Stadium on Saturday and after holding Milutin Sredojevic’s charges to a shock goalless draw at Orlando Stadium last week‚ Samaria believes that his charges could produce another result on the artificial surface in Windhoek.

Asked if he expects transitional football from Pirates in the second leg‚ Samaria said he would be ready for whatever their more illustrious visitors throw at them.

“I don’t know if transitional football will be offered by Pirates in the second leg‚” said Samaria.

“I really don’t know‚ but I will be absolutely prepared for that.

“If they come with transitional football‚ let it be.

“But yah‚ it’s a game of football‚ they will come with their plan and we will come with ours.

“I believe it will be a very tactical game in Windhoek because Pirates have a lot to lose.”

Samarai was reappointed Stars coach after the sacking of former Kaizer Chiefs player Robert Nauseb at the beginning of last week just days before the Pirates encounter.

Nauseb was fired following a 5-1 Stars’ trashing by their arch-rivals Black Stars.

“All this happened in a very short period of time.

"The next big thing that happened is that the players were confronted with the presence of the new old coach‚” said Samaria.

“So I was received with mixed feelings but we had a team meeting and we put that to bed.

“I believe that the best change is to put your energy not in fighting the past but in building the new.

“This (Saturday’s match) was my very first game with my old team so we are starting to build the new and our energy is good.”

Samaria said he’s happy with his team being underdogs in their encounter against Pirates.

“It’s good to be an underdog because it gives you a chance to give your opponents the shock of their lives‚" he said.

“I think we are not there yet and I do not want to speculate.

“Let’s just wait for the result in Windhoek and then we can address being winners and how we got there.”

CAF will conduct the draw for the group phase on December 28 while the first round of the group matches will kick off on the weekend of January 11-13.

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