Register Login Scores

Editor's Blog

Bucs v Bayern – I Believe

When Orlando Pirates got over the line to qualify for the African Champions League semi-finals I was absolutely delighted. Here’s why.

Our brave Bucs had been through the wringer when it comes to this competition. Do you remember the questionable treatment Bucs recieved at the hands of TP Mazembe? It appeared that the TV coverage for South Africa was pulled. Some of the referee’s decisions were questionable and at times I wondered if Bucs were being blatantly burgled!

Only Senzo Meyiwa’s heroics at saving the seemingly cheap penalties awarded got Pirates through what appeared to be some of the most shameless exploits that I’ve ever seen on a football pitch. Did Caf do anything about it afterwards? Nope, perhaps there is too much at stake financially.

What about the poor state of the pitch against AC Leopards, which looked as if cows had grazed on it? That was a disgrace. In the advanced stages of the Uefa Champions League, you wouldn’t expect a Bayern Munich or a Barcelona to have to play in a weed-riddled sandbox on their travels.

Surely by international standards that pitch was unnaceptable?

On top of that, you’d expect, at the very least, that Leopards would give Bucs decent accommodation. Nope, Bucs had to scrounge around to get clean blankets and bedding at the rundown hotel they were apparently forced to stay at.

Caf, it’s an absolute disgrace! This is a league for champions. The standards should be sky high. Any hint of impropriety should be met with severe sanctions  – surely the result of a football match cannot be bought by the highest bidder? 

At least our Egyptian friends acted with grace when they hosted Pirates. I rejoiced when I heard Leopards were getting pummelled 4-1 against Zamalek, because it opened the door for Bucs to go through.

Put Bucs on a proper pitch that has grass on it, against a good football side – the rest takes care of itself. That’s how it should be. It should be about a football contest between two sides on a good pitch, with not a hint of impropriety within a hundred miles of the place.

At least, against Al Ahly and Zamalek, football really was the winner.

That is what you’d expect in an elite continental club competition. Caf obviously have their own ideas. For me, I see money tills ringing - ching, ching! 

Nonetheless, the positives I take out of Bucs going through are the valuable lessons we are learning from some of the best teams in Africa, like Al Ahly.

The football has been of an incredibly high standard in the two games in which Bucs faced them. Pirates showed that they could boss possession against an elite team. The movement and third man running was exceptional.

Some of Lennox Bacela’s number nine play was outstanding in the way he came off into space to receive the ball. Al Ahly also showed their pedigree – they showed that football doesn’t have to be all about the aggressive high pressure we see a lot of (maybe too much?) in the PSL.

They showed that if you sit nicely in your shape and draw teams on to you, you can create space to hit back at them when the ball is turned over.

There was a real tempo and rhythm to the passing that we saw and even the service into the box from Bucs' wide men was really good at times.

I’m not a Bucs fan. I’m writing this as a South African who is proud of what they’ve achieved for local football. They endured the hardships, fought the good fight and now Tunisian giants, Esperance, await in the final four.

From now on anything is possible and winning that second star is in reach.

From there, the World Club Championship and the possibility of facing the best in the world. Imagine Bucs v Bayern Munich – I believe they can do it!

Go Bucs go – you make Mzansi glow with pride.

 

Give it to me, I'm in space!

David Minchella

Soccer-Laduma journalist
 

nextarticle

Magagula Eyeing Return After Long Suspension

54 comments

Top 5

One Of Chiefs’ Eight Most Valuable Superstars To Depart

9 Apr 01, 2020 03:10 PM in Kaizer Chiefs

Mourinho Names Best XI He's Coached, No Space For Benni

19 Mar 30, 2020 07:32 PM in English Premier League

The Highest-Paid Footballers In The World Today

7 Mar 29, 2020 07:16 PM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

How Ex-Chiefs Striker Is Keeping In South America

14 Mar 31, 2020 08:06 AM in Players Abroad

Check Out How Khune Went From Nissan To AMG

6 Mar 30, 2020 11:51 AM in Stars & Their Cars

10 Images Of Ronaldinho's Extravagant Car Collection Over The Years

4 Mar 30, 2020 06:00 PM in Stars & Their Cars

PSL Star In Hot Water With SANDF!

54 Mar 30, 2020 10:20 AM in PSL

Mourinho Names Best XI He's Coached, No Space For Benni

19 Mar 30, 2020 07:32 PM in English Premier League

A Closer Look At Mahlangu’s Embalenhle Palace

4 Apr 01, 2020 11:15 AM in Ballers Cribs & Travels

Kapinga To Downs – A Good Thing For His Career

8 Mar 30, 2020 12:05 PM in Siyagobhoza

The 10 Richest Footballers In The World

28 Nov 24, 2019 07:17 PM in World News

Big Escape…PSL Star Off The Hook?

6 Mar 30, 2020 08:36 PM in PSL

9 Players Who Left Barca Because Of Messi

29 Nov 03, 2019 10:21 AM in Messi/Ronaldo/Neymar Watch

Major Concern As Some Will Be Too Old

3 Mar 30, 2020 02:04 PM in PSL