Speaking at the post match press conference following his sides’ 2-0 defeat to the Mighty Buccaneers on Saturday night; the Portuguese born Duarte said he had a lot of respect for the men from Orlando and regards them as one of the strongest sides in the competition.
“Orlando (Pirates) is Orlando (Pirates),” said Duarte. “They can be weaker in the local league or lose a game but in Africa they are something else.
“”The winner of the Caf Confederations Cup will come from Orlando Pirates, Al Ahly or Zamalek. Those are the best teams in Africa in my view.”
He added: “They are a big team here (on the continent). Outside (of South Africa) they are a very big and competitive team. We came here with little expectation to win the match, it was never going to be easy to play against Pirates at home because as they showed us in Tunisia, that they would be an even tougher proposition in front of their home fans.”
The win tonight sees the Buccaneers catch up with log leaders Zamalek on nine points. However, the Egyptian giants have a game in hand which will be played on Sunday, 9 August against AC Leopards in Congo.
With a mathematical chance of qualifying for the semi-final still a possibility, Leopards, who have only amassed a point in the competition so far, know that nothing less than a victory will be enough.
Current Log Table Standings
1. Zamalek 9pts (+4)
2. Pirates 9pts (+3)
3. Leopards 1pts (-3)
4. CS Sfaxien 1pts (-4)