Orlando Pirates began their Caf Champions League campaign with a 1-0 loss to Green Eagles in the first leg of their preliminary round clash in Zambia on Saturday afternoon.
Pirates were looking to get their qualifying for the group stages off to a good start, but were without the services of Thembinkosi Lorch.
The Buccaneers looked to dominate the possession in the opening stages but were struggling to create any chances of note against a well-organised side.
The home side were the ones to create the first real chance as Hosea Silwimba forced Wayne Sandilands into action with 23 minutes gone and then, only a minute later, he denied Chibwe.
The home side were looking the most threatening and came close to opening the scoring when Silwimba’s cross found an unmarked Samson Chilupe in the box, but the forward couldn’t control the ball and had the chance snuffed out by the Pirates defence just before the half-time break.
The home side started the second half perfectly as Chilupe set up Spencer Sautu to fire Eagles into the lead.
Milutin Sredojevic made a host of changes throughout the second half as he looked to get back into the game, but his team were struggling to create chances.
A Gabadinho Mhango free kick and Augustine Mulenga chance was as close as Pirates came to finding an equalizer, but in the end they just didn’t have enough to get a goal back as Eagle held on to their slender lead.
Eagles will now take a 1-0 lead into the second leg, which is scheduled for 23 August at Orlando Stadium.
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