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CAF Champions League

Bucs Remain Top After Stalemate With African Champs

CAF Champions League

Result: Orlando Pirates 0-0 Esperance

Date: 02 February 2019

Venue: Orlando Stadium

Despite dominating for large parts of the encounter, Orlando Pirates had to settle for a point against the defending CAF Champions League champions Esperance.

Wayne Sandilands made a surprise return to the Pirates side as Jackson Mabokgwane dropped to the bench, while Happy Jele was left out of the squad completely.

Sandilands last featured for the first team in the opening Absa Premiership clash of the season when he committed an error in the 1-1 draw with Highlands Park.

The Buccaneers took control from the onset and dictated play early on, however they were unable to turn that dominance into chances.

The defending champions, who kick-started their campaign with victory on matchday two, struggled to settle in the game and failed to provide any threat on Sandilands' goal.

The half did end on a controversial note after Justin Shonga saw his lob flagged offside by the linesman, although replays showed the Zambian forward was onside when the ball was played.

The Buccaneers looked for an early goal in the second half as Vincent Pule saw his effort from distance deflect just wide of the mark.

It was one-way traffic in the second half as Esperance shot-stopper Rami Jridi was called into action after 65 minutes to keep out a wayward clearance from his teammate which looked destined for the far corner.

With 20 minutes to go, Milutin Sredojevic opted to withdraw Pule for Augustine Mulenga as he decided to add another body to the attack alongside Shonga.

As the second half winded down, Esperance were quite content to sit back and soak up the pressure while a couple of their players went down with apparent injuries.

Alfred Ndengane had the opportunity to seal three points for the Buccaneers in time added on, but he was unable to steer his header on target as the spoils were shared on the night.

As result, the Buccaneers remain top of Group B after three matches, while Esperance sit in second spot.

Here's how they lined up:

Pirates: Sandilands, Ndengane, Mbekile, Maela, Munetsi, Motshwari, Nyatama, Mlambo, Pule (Mulenga 71'), Lorch (Gabuza 89'), Shonga (Mahachi 89')

Subs: Mabokgwane, Da Silva, Mntambo, Mako, Mahachi, Mulenga.

 

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