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Davids: Pirates’ loss to Ahli ‘blessing in disguise’ for Confed final

19 May 2022 - 17:18 By Marc Strydom
Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids during a training session at Orlando Stadium on May 17.
Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids during a training session at Orlando Stadium on May 17.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates co-coach Fadlu Davids says losing the second leg of their semifinal against Al Ahi Tripoli could benefit his team in Friday night’s Caf Confederation Cup final against RS Berkane.

The Buccaneers will go in search of their first continental trophy since lifting the 1995 Africa Cup of Champions and aim to convert a place in the final into silverware at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria, having fallen at the last hurdle in their last two in Africa.

Pirates negotiated past Al Ahli 2-1 on aggregate in the semifinal despite losing the home leg 1-0 at Orlando Stadium on Sunday night.

Davids felt a mood of under-celebration at that result, but still reaching the final might have been the best result in hindsight for Bucs.

He said Pirates’ non-playing squad members against Ahli made a motivational video for the playing squad.

“The non-playing squad sent a video to us, the technical team, and we created something where they made a video of encouragement and the quote was ‘Nobody remembers the finalist that lose the match’.

“That was the message. It was as clear as that. Immediately it turns on a switch in the players’ thinking to say that we don’t want to go to the final and celebrate. Yes, we’ve got to the final, but without winning the final.

“This disappointment in our previous match was maybe a blessing in disguise where we made the final by losing 1-0, came into the change room and with our mixed emotion [goalkeeper] Richard Ofori wanted to hit some of our players because we conceded a goal.

“And the mood in the change room after the match was perfect in hindsight. There were not a lot of celebrations, [which is good] because the celebrations are for after the final, not for making the final.

“And that is the mindset for us. We, as Orlando Pirates, want to go into this final and get the job done.”

Pirates reached the 2013 Caf Champions League final where they lost 3-1 on aggregate to Egypt’s Al Ahly. Bucs lost 2-1 on aggregate to Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in the 2013 Confed final.

Berkane won the 2019-2020 Confed Cup after being losing finalists in 2018-2019.

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