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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Orlando Pirates 'don't fear Ahly'

Midfielder Andile Jali says South Africans respect Ahly but no longer fear them and are happy to be facing them in Champions League final

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 30 Oct 2013
Abdallah El Said (C) of Egypt's Al-Ahli celebrates after scoring a goal against Cameroon's Coton Sport during their African Champions League semi-final soccer match at El-Gouna stadium in Hurghada October 20, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS)

Orlando Pirates are content to face Ahly in the Champions League final and are sure they can win the title, midfielder Andile Jali has said.

Orlando will host the Cairo giants in the first leg of the Champions League final on 2 November, while the second-leg is scheduled for 9 November in Cairo.

"Look, we know those guys very well – that is good for us because we will not be stressing or guessing how they play and everything else,” Jali told Orlando's official website on Tuesday.

“We will of course respect them because they have won this Championship seven times – we will not fear them anymore like before. Whenever we heard the name Ahly, we would to try to study them etc.

“I am glad we are playing against them – another opponent would be tougher for us because we would have to study them and be careful."

The two teams met in the group stage with the Egyptians earning a goalless draw in Johannesburg and the Pirates winning 3-0 in the Red Sea resort of El-Gouna

Titleholders Ahly, who are bidding for their eighth trophy, made it to the final by eliminating Cameroon's Coton Sport in the semifinal, while Orlando eased through after beating Esperance of Tunisia.

“We will have to go all out and play to win the game – they are a good side but I just think we have what it takes to beat them. We respect them but we do not fear them – I could have not asked for a better opponent to play in this final. They play good football and this is what we like as a team," concluded Jali.

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