JOHANNESBURG — A serious injury crisis threatens to derail Orlando Pirates’ hopes in the African Champions League as coach Roger de Sa desperately seeks to inject some hope into his side ahead of tomorrow’s match against the Democratic Republic of Congo’s TP Mazembe.
The influential trio of Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa and Siyabonga Sangweni are all out. But De Sa hopes Sifiso Myeni will make a miraculous recovery for the third-round, first-leg match at Orlando Stadium.
Pirates have only 17 players available for the game because of the injury crisis. The absence of key players was sorely felt on Wednesday night as Pirates struggled to force a draw at Free State Stars.
Jali’s ankle is in a “moon boot” and it will be weeks before he is back, whereas Sangweni’s knee has swollen up again and left him now needing surgery.
Manyisa might make the game, but he has a groin strain that will be checked by doctors today.
Also ruled out for the rest of the season are Manti Maholo, Thabo Matlaba and Rooi Mahamutsa.
Supersport United also expect a tough tussle against ENPPI in Cairo tonight, but will not only have to overcome their opponent, but also an eerily empty stadium.
Their African Confederation Cup third-round, first-leg match will be played in front of empty stands at the Air Defence Stadium after a series of recent violent outbreaks.
Supersport have marched with efficient ease into the third round, overcoming both Congolese and Angolan opposition. But the Egyptians will prove to be more difficult opponents.