CAF Champions League Semi-Final
Result: Esperance 1-1 Pirates
Date: 19 October 2013
Venue: Stade Olympique d'El Menzah
Orlando Pirates put on a sterling second-half display, despite some poor finishing, and booked their place in the CAF Champions League final with a 1-1 draw away to Esperance on Saturday night.
The first-leg of the semi-final ended 0-0 at the Orlando Stadium, meaning that the score draw was enough to see the Sea Robbers through to the final via the away goals rule.
Pirates hit the side netting in the 11th minute when Happy Jele got up at the far post to meet a free-kick before Esperance saw a shot from the edge of the area blocked after Pirates had nervously dealt with a free-kick.
The visitors hit on the counter immediately after though and Tlou Segolela was sent scuttling clear but instead of shooting he opted to square and produced a weak pass straight to an Esperance defender as the best chance of the half went begging.
The winger forced the goalkeeper to parry a cross/shot in the 29th minute while Esperance were denied by the crossbar at the other end in the 31st minute when a shot from Hocine Ragued dipped just ahead of Senzo Meyiwa, bounced off him, hit the crossbar and sailed over.
The Pirates goalkeeper had another nervous moment in the 33rd minute when he spilled a low free-kick but reacted quickly to dive back onto the ball under pressure.
The South Africans came into the game more as the half came to a close but Thabo Matlaba failed to put in a cross from a good area while Segolela shot from a tight angle when he had the option to cross in a four-on-three situation.
Pirates continued their charge after the interval with Bacela firing just wide two minutes in before an unreal save from Ben Charifa kept out Klate's close range header.
The opener arrived moments later though as Rooi Mahamutsa got up at the near post from a corner and buried a determined header to silence the home crowd.
The hosts took just three minutes to respond though as Iheb Msakni clinically finished off a low cross toward at the edge of the six-yard area.
The excitement continued with Jele thumping a header against the post in the 57th minute while Bacela sent the rebound high and wide.
Myeni shinned a good chance in the 63rd minute while Matlaba allowed the solitary defender to close him down when he had two team mates waiting for a pass in a brilliant three-on-one counter.
Two poor offside decisions stopped Klate and Bacela in good positions but Pirates started to slow the game down by holding onto the ball and passing it among themselves.
Klate lashed a wild finish over when he had a chance to wrap it up late on while substitute Collins Mbesuma also produced a weak finish after beating two defenders.
Pirates remained composed in the final few minutes and saw out the draw to book their place in the final, where they will meet either Al Ahly or Coton Sport.
Esperance: Moez Bin Sharifa, Chamseddine Dhaouadi, Khalil Chemmam, Samah Derbali, Mohamed Ben Mansour, Harrison Afful, Hocine Ragued, Karim Aouadhi, Youssef Belaili, Yannick N'Djeng, Ossama Darragi.
Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Happy Jele, Rooi Mahamutsa, Ayanda Gcaba, Thabo Matlaba, Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa, Tlou Segolela, Daine Klate, Sifiso Myeni, Lennox Bacela.
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