Orlando Pirates secured an emphatic 5-1 victory in their Caf Champions League clash at the Orlando Stadium, courtesy of goals by Thabo Qaline, Mpho Makola, Augustine Mulenga, Justin Shonga and Linga Mntambo, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The Buccaneers made a number of changes to their squad to face Light Stars, naming the likes of Augustine Mulenga, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Mpho Makola and Jackson Mabokgwane in their match day squad.
The home side got off a great start as both Marcelo da Silva and Meshack Maphangule forced the Light Stars keeper into making two great saves to deny them.
However, the visitors broke the deadlock in the 16th minute when Mario Ruvo beat the Pirates defence before steering the ball past Mabokgwane, 1-0.
The home managed to draw level in the 24th minute when Mahachi’s pass fell into the path of Thabo Qalinge, who slotted the ball home from close range, 1-1.
Mulenga nearly put his side ahead after 32 minutes as he unleashed a curling effort at goal, but he was unable to find the net as his effort crashed of the woodwork.
However, he made no mistake six minutes later when he beat his marker before slotting the ball home, 2-1.
Pirates then extended their lead even further just before the break when Makola found the back of the net with a sublime free kick, 3-1.
The Buccaneers went into the half-time interval with a comfortable 3-1 lead.
Pirates showed their dominance early in the second half and nearly extended their lead when Linda Mntambo fired his effort wide of the target.
Mntambo had another chance to make it 4-1 after 71 minutes, but the midfielder blazed his volley over the target from close range.
The home side’s persistence paid off in stoppage time when they grabbed their fourth after Justin Shonga guided his free kick past the Light Stars shot-stopper.
Mntambo eventually got his name on the scoresheet when he slotted the ball home from close range to round off the scoring for Pirates as they went on to claim a 5-1 win to mark their return to the Champions League following their five-year absence.
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