Orlando Pirates was simply unlucky to lose to Libyan outfit Al-Ittihad in a Group B clash in the Café Confederation Cup played at Benina Martyrs Stadium in Benghazi on Sunday, says ex-Bucs striker James Mothibi.
Pirates equalized twice against Al-Ittihad, with Bandile Shandu braced for the Soweto giants, but a 53 minute strike by Omar Al Khouja saw the hosts emerge as 3-2 winners on the day.
“I think the boys played well, they did very well from the first whistle to the end. They fought well and I like what I saw because you can see they were fighting for the badge, they love the team .
“The loss isn’t really a big deal, I mean it was an away game and I think some people thought they were going to be thrashed,” said the former Pirates target striker.
“It’s still early in the tournament, there’s still a long way to go and I hope the guys don’t get demoralized by the defeat. I want them to lift their heads and know that they will recover from the loss. I am very positive about it.”
Mothibi also praised defender Bandile Shandu after the former Maritzburg United player scored a brace.
The ex-Bucs striker says the 27-year-old is slowly becoming the quality player he needs to be and his eye for goal makes him a very important player for Pirates.
“He knows how to position himself and he knows his way around the penalty area, which works really well for him.”
Bucs recorded a win and a loss in their first two group matches as it was Al-Ittihad’s first match and the two teams are now on three points with Saoura after the Algerians beat Swaziland’s Royal Leopards.