Preview of Pirates CAF opponents

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The opponents of Orlando Pirates in the 2020 Caf Confederation Cup, G.D Sangrada Esperanca (Sagrada Esperanca) hail from Dundo in the Angolan Norte Province. The two clubs clash at 16h00 at the Coqueiros Municipal Stadium in Luanda.

Sangrada was established in 1976, and is under the leadership of club chairman, Jose Muacabalo. The team play in the National League, named Girabola, were it faces traditional powerhouses, Primero de Agosto and Petro Atletico.

In 2005, Sagrada won their only Girabola championship and are currently led by Brazilian Coach Rui Oliveira.

1. History in Caf competitions

Sagrada have played in the Caf competitions in patches since 1989 when they contested the then Caf Cup Winner’s Cup.

Between 1992-2000 their participation was restricted to the Caf Confederations and Winner’s Cups, were they failed to go past the second round.

Between 2005-2006 they entered the Caf Champions League by virtue of winning the Girabola league, only to exit in the first round

2. Playing style

The team applies a rather rigid playing style synonymous with Angolan sides, Primero and Atletico, with a touch of a Brazilian quick possession approach.

Oliviera set out this Sagrada to play a 1-4-4-2 attacking system, with a solid defensive structure of 1-4-5-1 when out of possession.

However, the Brazilian mentor has exhibited dynamic tactical structure in cup competitions, where a deep block and swift counterattack will manifest itself from time to time.

3. Statistical guide

They last played on 15 March 2020, losing away (0-1) to Progresso in Girabola league.

Ironically, between 22 February to 07 March 2020, Sagrada was unbeaten in four consecutive matches against the likes of Wiliete (1-0), Sporting de Cabinda (1-0), de Agosto (2-1) and Academica do Lobito (4-2)

4. Any Sagrada threats?

Sagrada are somewhat of a subdued side, in which team cohesion and tactical camaraderie takes centre stage.

Still, they do possess some individuals capable of winning the tie for them against the ‘Buccaneers’. One such player is Congolese striker, Mawiya Tutona Jiresse.

Jiresse aged 28 years, who joined Sagrada from Academica do Lobito in 2019, is a useful centre-forward at 1.81 metres capable of holding the ball and running into both central and lateral channels in the attacking phase.

5. ‘Buccaneers’ chances?

The Angolan outfit are perennial bridesmaids in the Girabola, which is continuously controlled by the big boys, de Agosto and Petro.

Expect the ‘Buccaneers’ to be too strong for Sagrada, given their superior experience in the CAF tournaments, a balanced squad full of individual match winners, competitive nature of the PSL and a form guide far better than their opponents.

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By FARPost Reporter

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