Botswana champions Jwaneng Galaxy were exposed by a much fitter Orlando Pirates side and ran out of gas in falling to a 3-0 defeat in a Caf Confederation Cup first-round playoff match in Gaborone on Sunday afternoon, coach Oris Boy Radipotsane said.
Galaxy’s match fitness levels were in question as the Botswana Premier League (BPL) season is yet to resume since it was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year in February with Radipotsane admitting that it was always going to be difficult to beat a ‘quality’ side like Pirates.
Last month Galaxy was eliminated from the Caf Champions League by another DStv Premiership side Mamelodi Sundowns who advanced with a 5-1 aggregate win.
“Let me thank my players for how they played this game because if you know about Galaxy, we are having problems with the league. We have about 12 months without playing football, active football so the guys are not fit,” said Radipotsane
“I think that is why they ended up playing 70 minutes and then from there, they punched but otherwise we played well.
“It is very difficult to play against a good team like Orlando Pirates with those quality players while they are still playing in the league and cups, so they had the advantage on us, but we tried to match them pound for pound until the guys got tired.
The ‘Buccaneers’ have one foot in Caf Confederation Cup group stages with the three away goals but Radipotsane is a man of faith as he remains optimistic that his troops can pull off a miraculous comeback in the return leg in Soweto on Sunday.
“But we can still come back in the second leg. They have scored three goals and we can score three as well and go to penalties but they are a good side,” concluded the Galaxy mentor.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi
all pictures courtesy of Killer Pass Botswana