Pirates earn a point in Caf Confed Group A opener

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  • Post published:March 10, 2021

Orlando Pirates were forced to settle for a point in their Caf Confederation Cup Group A opener after playing out to a goalless draw with Algerian side ES Setif on Wednesday evening.

Josef Zinnbauer kept the same side that beat Chippa United in their previous match, with Gabadinho Mhango, Tshegofatso Mabasa and Kabelo Dlamini all on the Pirates bench.

Pirates endured an early scare six minutes into the game but Siphesihle Ndlovu pulled off a brilliant goalline clearance to keep the scoreline level after Richard Ofori was caught off his line.

The visitors had to make a change in the 14th minute as Ofori was forced off the field through injury and subsequently replaced by Siyabonga Mpontshane.

Mpontshane was called into action two minutes after coming on as he came off his line to collect what looked like a dangerous looping ball into the box, where the white shirts were ready to pounce.

Pirates had their first chance in the 28th minute when Thabang Monare headed his effort towards goal, but his strike lacked the power to beat the Setif keeper.

Happy Jele came close to breaking the deadlock four minutes later but blazed his effort over the crossbar after latching on to Deon Hotto’s free kick.

Setif had a rare shot at goal in the 39th minute but Mpontshane comfortably watched the ball roll past his far post and out of play.

Vincent Pule had the final chance of the first half but was rushed into taking his shot early, which led to the Pirates attacker directing his shot just wide of goal.

Pirates showed their intent early in the second half as Fortune Makaringe got an opportunity at goal but fired his volley wide of the target.

The Buccaneers continued to press forward in search of the opening goal and had two chances in the space of five minutes, but Pule and Ndlovu were unable to hit the back of the net.

Zinnbauer opted to bring on fresh legs in the 80th minute as Makaringe and Mntambo were replaced by Ntsikelelo Nyauza and Tshegofatso Mabaso, before bringing on Innocent Maela for Jele five minutes later.

Pirates continued to dominate proceedings in the closing stages of the game but were forced to settle for a point in their group-stage opener.