COSAFA sides complete pool stage in CAF Confederation Cup

COSAFA club Orlando Pirates need only a draw away in Nigeria on Wednesday to ensure progress to the last eight of the African Confederation Cup but if they lose The Buccaneers could be walking the plank.

Pirates top Group A with nine points and one more would be enough to ensure top place and secure home advantage in the second leg of the quarter-finals next month.

But if they lose to Enyimba in Aba then the Nigerian club, who are former continental champions, will advance from six to nine points and top place in the group will be decided on the head-to-head results between Pirates and Enyimba.

Pirates beat Enyimba 2-1 in Soweto in March, so a 1-0 win for Enyimba would be enough for them to usurp the South Africans.

The match will be officiated by top COSAFA referee Helder Martins de Carvalho from Angola, who is among the leading whistlemen on the continent.

Defeat also leaves Pirates vulnerable to being overtaken by Al Ahly Benghazi, but only if the Libyan club win away at the same time at Entente Setif in the group’s other game.

Al Ahly Benghazi have seven points and will top the group if they win and Pirates lose. Algeria’s Setif are bottom with five points but can still finish second and grab a qualifying place, but only if Enyimba do not win.

Group A is the only group still to be settled and both matches will kick off at 11pm South African time (21h00 GMT). This is because of Ramadan and the need to play both games simultaneously.

JS Kabylie (Algeria), Coton Sport (Cameroon), Pyramids (Egypt), Raja Casablanca (Morocco), Diaraf Dakar (Senegal) and CS Sfaxien (Tunisia) are already through and all the matches in groups B-D on Wednesday are of academic interest only.

The quarter-final draw will be conducted on Friday in Cairo, along with the draw for the last eight of African Champions League where both Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns are in the field.

Also in action on Wednesday are the Zambian duo NAPSA Stars and Nkana FC, though neither can progress to the next round.

Stars are away at Algerian side JS Kabylie, while Nkana face a tough trip away to Raja Casablanca of Morocco.