Bucs are into the group phase in what is their first appearance in the Caf Confederation Cup since losing the 2015 final to Etoile du Sahel
Orlando Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer says he was pleased with the way young midfielder Azola Tshobeni handled himself during Sunday’s Caf Confederation Cup match against Botswana side Jwaneng Galaxy at the Orlando Stadium.
The Buccaneers won the match 1-0 thanks to Linda Mntambo’s goal 10 minutes into the second half. That gave them a 4-0 aggregate victory and booked the Sea Robbers their spot in the group phase.
The 3-0 first-leg win from the match in Gaborone the previous weekend enabled Zinnbauer to rest some of his senior players and to give game-time to some of those players who don’t usually feature regularly.
“I think the result is deserved and we had some players on the field who get minutes, and it’s also good for us to get more information about the players,” the German told the media.
“They were good – defensive good and offensive good. We are happy we come in the next group.”
The Bucs mentor was particularly pleased with how 18-year-old attacking midfielder Tshobeni handled himself physically against tough opposition.
“For me its always important that the players get new information, that they get experience,” Zinnbauer explained. “That is for me as a coach important, that they get more input.
“For young players like Azola, he make a very good game. He gets the next step or he has a small step forwards, like in defence.
“I remember in the duel in midfield, I think the [Galaxy midfielder, Gape Mohutsiwa] is close to 1,90m [tall]. And Azola won the duel and this is for me good to see.
“Young players getting international games will improve them and that’s important.”
Tshobeni has played in five matches for Pirates this season – two in the Confederation Cup and three in the league.
The draw for the group stage will be held on Monday at the Caf headquarters in Cairo, Egypt from 15:00.
Meanwhile, they will return to domestic action with a league fixture against SuperSport United at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday evening.