Tuesday Apr 26, 2022. 16:00
Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi admits he would have preferred to face Al-Ittihad in the CAF Confederation Cup semifinals, but at least they will be in familiar surroundings.
The Buccaneers will take on Al Ahli Tripoli for a place in the final after the Libyan champions beat their domestic rivals 1-0 on aggregate in the quarterfinals.
Pirates needed penalties to see off Simba in the last eight, having levelled the tie at 1-1 on Sunday with their 1-0 victory in the second leg at the Orlando Stadium.
The Soweto giants had already played Al-Ittihad twice in the competition this season after they were drawn in the same group, and Ncikazi conceded he fancied a re-match against them in the semis.
However, Bucs are safe in the knowledge that they can use the same hotel and training facilities as the two clubs have both been based in Benghazi for their continental matches due to the venues in Tripoli not meeting CAF standards.
“It’s better the devil you know than the one you don’t know and I know the field,” Ncikazi said. “I know how difficult as it is to travel there and we know the hotel.
“I’d rather have a second bite of what we have experienced already, difficult as it is with the customs in that country where we don’t even have an embassy.
“So you can imagine if you have challenges there, but between the two teams I would have chosen the one we had played before.”