Orlando Pirates’ CAF Champions League opponents for this weekend’s match may have to breathe a sigh of relief in hearing the news that one of the players they fear from the Soweto giants is doubtful for the crucial encounter.
The Buccaneers are in Conakry in Guinea for Saturday’s crucial Champions League match with Horoya AC.
Prior to their first leg match in January, Horoya identified Justin Shonga as the Bucs player to watch.
“We will have to watch this Justin Shonga very closely,” the Guinean club stated on their official website at the time, in part.
However, Shonga went on to score two goals as the Soweto giants beat Horoya 3-0 on January 18, with the other goal scored by Thembinkosi Lorch.
With the Buccaneers in Guinea for the second leg and final Group B match, it has been confirmed that there have been concerns over Shonga’s readiness for the encounter, with the club having also confirmed that Vincent Pule has been ruled out due to injury.
“Meanwhile, another injury worry is that of Justin Shonga. The 22-year old has a niggling injury which saw him miss the Thursday training session, however, unlike Pule, the Zambian international was included (in) the travelling squad,” confirmed Bucs on the club’s official website.
Pirates go into the match knowing that anything less than a victory will not be enough for the team if they are to qualify for the quarter-finals of the continental competition.
Bucs are in third place on Group B standings with six points and are behind Horoya, who are in second place and with seven points.
Defending champions Esperance Sportive de Tunis have already qualified for the next round as they are top of the log with 11 points, while Zimbabwe's FC Platinum who are at the bottom of the standings with only two points, already know that they won’t be making any further progress in the competition.