A lot of huff and puff but not much bang for our Bucs
A tale of disappointment for Pirates – their last six away fixtures have ended in four losses and two draws
Orlando Pirates face a daunting trip to Conakry on Saturday where they must beat Horoya FC to seal a place in the African Champions League quarterfinals after stumbling at home against FC Platinum at the weekend.
The Buccaneers have, to a certain extent, been their own worst enemies in this year’s pool stages but have their destiny in their own hands and will point to their 3-0 home win over Horoya in January for inspiration.
Horoya need just a draw, though, and will likely part a double-decker bus in front of their goal and invite Pirates to try and break them down.
But in truth the Buccaneers have not been great travellers in African club competition, with just two away wins of any substance in their last 16 games on the road dating back to 2006.
They have recorded victories over minnows Light Stars and Djabal Club in that time, as well as Namibian side African Stars this season, though those are teams they would comfortably expect to beat.
The last time they beat a team of considerable quality on the road was Al Ahly on their way to the 2013 Champions League final, when they claimed a handsome 3-0 success. A 1-0 win at Zambian side Zanaco was notable that same year.
But for the rest it has been a tale of disappointment, and minnows aside their last six away fixtures have resulted in four losses and two draws, including a 0-0 stalemate at FC Platinum and a 2-0 loss at defending champions Esperance in this year’s pool stages.
There is nothing in their recent record to suggest they will go to Horoya and claim a win, nor the records of other SA sides who have been there in the last few years.
SuperSport were held to a 0-0 draw when they went to Guinea in the 2017 African Confederation Cup, while Sundowns could only manage a 2-2 draw in last year’s Champions League.
In fact, in the five games between Horoya and SA sides in the last few years, four have ended in draws.
Pirates can at least point to an unbeaten record against teams from Guinea, including their 3-0 home success over Horoya this season.
They met AS Kaloum in the 2015 Confederation Cup and won 2-0 away and 4-1 at home, while they clashed with ASM Sangarendi in the African Cup Winners’ Cup all the way back in 1999 and earned 1-0 (home) and 3-1 (away) wins.
In all, SA sides have travelled to Guinea on five previous occasions, claiming two wins and two draws, and suffering a single defeat.