Goal profiles Pirates’ opponents ahead of their eagerly anticipated group stage campaign
Premier Soccer League (PSL) giants Orlando Pirates learnt their Caf Champions League identities of their opponents on Friday.
The Soweto giants are back in the group stage of Africa’s most prestigious club competition after an almost five-year absence.
They have been pitted against Zimbabwean side FC Platinum, Guinean giants Horoya AC and Tunisian champions Esperance de Tunis in Group B.
Goal profiles Pirates’ rivals ahead of their eagerly anticipated group stage campaign:
The Zimbabwean club is based in Zvishavane in the Midlands Province having been established in 1995 as a social club to entertain Mimosa Mining Company employees residing at the mine.
The club changed its name from Mimosa Football Club in 2011 and it was subsequently weaned off Mimosa Mining Company in 2014, and they are now wholly owned by FC Platinum Holdings.
Since then they have won two Zimbabwean Premier Soccer League (ZPSL) titles, Castle Challenge Super Cup twice, Independence Cup twice and Chibuku Super Cup once.
The Platinum Boys have established themselves as one of the top teams in the Southern African country in recent times having won the last two ZPSL titles under local tactician Norman Mapeza.
They qualified for this season’s Caf Champions League after clinching the 2018 ZPSL title – finishing 13 points above second-placed Ngezi Platinum.
Platinum are making their third appearance in the Champions League and they are also set to make their debut in the group stage.
The Guinean giants are based in Conakry which is the capital city of the West African country having been established in 1975. The name Horoya means “Liberty” or “Freedom” in both Guinea’s local and Arabic languages.
The club’s home shirt colours are red and white. The red is a symbol of the blood of the martyrs for the independence struggle and white for great purity and hope.
HAC are the most decorated club in the history of Guinean football having won the top flight, Ligue 1 Pro title a record 16 times plus eight Guinée Coupe Nationale trophies which is also a record.
Horoya have had some success on the continent as they clinched the 1978 Caf African Cup Winners’ Cup, before winning the West African Club Championship (UFOA) Cup in 2009.
They qualified for this season’s Champions League after securing their third successive Ligue 1 Pro title – beating their fierce rivals Hafia FC to the most coveted trophy in Guinea earlier this year.
HAC are under the guidance of French tactician Patrice Neveu and they will be making their second successive appearance in the group stage having reached the quarter-finals last year.
ESPERANCE DE TUNIS
The Tunisian football heavyweights were founded in Bab Souika which is one of the gates of the North African country’s capital city, Tunis in 1919.
Esperance fields several sport teams, including football, handball, and volleyball and they are the most popular club in Tunisia.
They have dominated football in the country having won the most top-flight league titles (28) and Tunisian Cup trophies (15) plus three Super Cups down the years.
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The Blood and Gold are also one of the most successful clubs in Africa having clinched Caf Champions League (three times), Caf African Cup Winners’ Cup, Caf Super Cup as well as Caf Cup.
Esperance, who are under the guidance of Tunisian trainer Mouine Chaabani, are the current holders of the Champions League title having stunned Egyptian giants Al Ahly in their seventh appearance in the final last month.
They are looking to become the first team to defend the continental trophy since 2013.
Source link : https://www.goal.com/en-za/news/who-are-orlando-pirates-caf-champions-league-opponents/1qkoiyspipi6t1vuxp0pv2i7w8
Publish date : 2018-12-30 10:57:00