Sport News

Caf Champions League: Orlando Pirates stumble in Lusaka

Orlando Pirates face an uphill battle to progress in the Caf Champions League after slumping to defeat to Green Eagles in Lusaka.

Pirates recalled 2016 Champions League winner Asavela Mbekile in the only change to the side from their season-opening victory over Bloemfontein Celtic last Saturday.

Thembinkosi Lorch was not risked as the technical team feel he isn’t at 100 per cent fitness just yet.

The Sea Robbers were put through their paces in the opening exchanges, with Kennedy Musonda and Hosea Silwimba’s combination menacing the Pirates defence, the latter forced Wayne Sandilands into a strong save to keep matters level.

Musa Nyatama proved to be Pirates most influential player on attack threading passes from the middle that troubled the Eagles defenders and forced them into some hasty clearances.

Eagles’ Kabamba Chibwe was unable to profit from sloppy Pirates defending a minute from the break but the writing was already on the wall.

A crucial Caf Champions League goal

The Zambian side broke the deadlock in the fifth minute of the second half when Spencer Sautu was on hand to slot home after a fast-paced counterattack left the Buccaneers stranded. Pirates almost allowed a second from another break-attack on 62 minutes, but a timeous intervention from Mbekile saved the day.

The Zambians were clearly well-prepared for their task and kept the pressure on their more illustrious opponents, with Happy Jele and company forced to batten down the hatches to ensure Eagles didn’t stretch their advantage.

bb263e7d gabadinho mhango - Caf Champions League: Orlando Pirates stumble in Lusaka
Gabadinho Mhango of Orlando Pirates during the Carling Black Label Cup Match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on the 27 July 2019 at FNB Stadium, Soweto Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Gabadinho Mhango, who scored on debut last weekend, was introduced from the bench on 67 minutes with Luvuyo Memela making way but the changes made little impact. Eagles continued to enjoy the better of the balance of play in the final quarter of the match

At full time, the Zambians earned a narrow victory with the Soweto giants needing to overturn the tie in the return-leg in two weeks time.

Caf Champions League Preliminary round matches are played over two legs with the away goals rule in effect. Pirates failure to score in Lusaka means that they will need to win by two clear goals at home. A 1-0 result in Pirates favour in the return leg is the only result that will send the tie to penalties.

Mamelodi Sundowns will engage in Caf Champions League competition tomorrow (Sunday 11 August) when they face AS Otôho d’Oyo in Congo-Brazzaville.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *