Sat, 15 May 2021

Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele has hailed the CAF Confederation Cup Group A frontrunners ahead of a matchday 5 clash with Algerian visitors Entente Setif in South Africa on Wednesday.

"Our playing style, commitment and team spirit can get us to the final again," said the only survivor from the 2015 team that finished runners-up to Tunisian outfit Etoile Sahel.

"I see no reason why we cannot become the first South African winners of the competition, especially after coming so close six years ago."

Victory in Soweto will clinch a quarter-finals place for the Buccaneers while the Black Eagles need maximum points to retain a realistic chance of squeezing into the knockout phase.

Here, AFP Sport previews the penultimate round of matches in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League, which could end with all the quarter-finals places filled.

Group A

Victories for Pirates and Nigerian outfit Enyimba, away to Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya, would take the two former African champions into the April 30 quarter-finals draw.

Although Pirates are first and Setif fourth in the table, the South Africans will be wary of an Algerian team that finally clicked nine days ago to hammer Enyimba 3-0.

Second-place Enyimba lost their last four CAF away matches and have been battling to fund a charter flight to Libya.

Group B

A home win for Cameroonian club Coton Sport over Algerians JS Kabylie will ensure they are among the eight survivors when the group phase ends next Wednesday.

The club from northwestern city Garoua have exceeded expectations with three wins in four outings fuelled by the goals of leading scorer Lambert Araina.

Coton, Kabylie and title-holders Renaissance Berkane are seeking top-two finishes and the goal-shy Moroccans dare not lose against strugglers NAPSA Stars in Zambia.

Group C

The qualifiers will be decided with one matchday to spare if Jaraaf of Senegal and record three-time Confederation Cup title-holders CS Sfaxien of Tunisia win.

Jaraaf owe their elevation from the bottom to the top of the standings partly to Papa Paye, who scored in home and away victories over Salitas of Burkina Faso within nine days.

They host two-time Confederation Cup winners Etoile Sahel while Sfaxien face Salitas, who must stage a home fixture in neighbouring Benin because their stadium does not meet international standards.

Group D

Former title-holders Raja Casablanca of Morocco have already qualified for the quarter-finals thanks to four straight victories without conceding a goal.

This allows the Green Devils to rest several stars for an away date with pointless Namungo of Tanzania, including forwards Soufiane Rahimi and Congolese Ben Malango.

Victory for 2020 runners-up Pyramids of Egypt over Nkana in Zambia will ensure they finish second in the only group where there has not been a drawn match so far.

Source: News24

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