The Buccaneers are in Libya as they seek to maintain their lead of the group and an unbeaten run in this competition

Orlando Pirates vice-captain Thulani Hlatshwayo is banking on experience in their squad to get a positive result in their Caf Confederation Cup Group A clash against Al Ahli Benghazi at Martyrs of February Stadium on Sunday.

The Soweto giants have three players returning from international duty with Bafana Bafana while Terrence Dzvukamanja was with the Zimbabwe national team.

Although Innocent Maela and Thabang Monare sustained injuries while with the South Africa national team, Hlatshwayo feels the international experience within their ranks will come in handy against Al Ahli Benghazi.

“Flying to North Africa is always difficult, we had to connect through other countries and the flight duration coming from South Africa is long. When you look at the map you see how far we are,” Hlatshwayo told Pirates’ media.

“We really appreciate the club for bringing us here on time to acclimatise to the environment. Obviously, we have seen from the first game we played against Setif that for us to get a result we need the experience that we have, also with the players who have been in Caf national competitions. For us our mission is to make sure that we do get a result.

“Whether it is a point that we get or three points, we just have to make sure that we are tactically good. After that, we also have to use our home advantages as we did against Enyimba.”

The Buccaneers lead Group A following a 0-0 draw against ES Setif in their opening match, before a 2-1 win over Enyimba in their last game of this pool.

They are now in Libya as the first visiting club to play Caf inter-club football in that country since 2010.

Political instability has seen Libya being barred from hosting continental matches over the years but Hlatshwayo is happy with the reception they have experienced in Benghazi.

“We have only been at the airport, hotel and the stadium where we have been training. Everything has been good. We need to be appreciative to the club for making sure that we get the best and focus on the job at hand. The mission is to get a result,” said Hlatshwayo.

“Like what our coach has mentioned, we have come here for a positive result. We have seen how a point is important in this tournament. Some national team players have knocks and have not been able to travel with the team but the mood is good. There is a change of environment.”

Pirates, however, face an injury crisis as they will be without captain Happy Jele, Maela, Thembinkosi Lorch, Monare, Deon Hotto and Thabiso Monyane.

Emci-Hub Technologies Ltd

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