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Orlando Pirates

Pirates Fire Blanks In Confed Cup Opener

Orlando Pirates began their CAF Confederation Cup journey with a goalless draw away to Diables Noirs in the second preliminary round on Friday.

CAF Confederation Cup

Result: CSMD Diables Noirs 0-0 Orlando Pirates

Date: 15 October 2021

Venue: Stade Alphonse Massemba-Débat

Pirates made five changes for the encounter, with Bongani Sam, Fortune Makaringe, Bandile Shandu and Kabelo Dlamini brought back to the fore, while Kwanda Mngonyama was given his Pirates debut.

The Buccaneers were under pressure in the opening exchanges, as Diables came out guns blazing but the visitors did well to protect shot-stopper Siyabonga Mpontshane from facing any shots on target.

However, the Soweto giants were settling in the game after the first quarter of an hour and were creating chances on counter-attacks, as just before the half-hour mark Tshegofatso Mabasa went clear on goal but Diables goalkeeper was quick to get under the through ball.

The Congelese side had the momentum in the closing phase of the first stanza, with supporters urging them on but the Soweto giants were able to see out the remaining stages of the half stanza.

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The game was open in the early stages of the second stanza but Diables were more physical, which saw the South African side make al change just after the hour-mark, as Thabang Monare replaced Kabelo Dlamini to beef up the midfield.

The hosts were putting the Buccaneers under pressure after that, as Mpontshane made his first save in the last 20 minutes after stopping a powerful volley to keep Pirates in the game.

The Buccaneers had a big chance to steal an away goal in the final 15 minutes from a set-piece just outside the box but Mabasa glanced Monare's cross just inches wide.

Pirates almost conceded an own goal just after that, as a mix-up at the back led to a ball coming off the post.

It was end-to-end stuff in the dying minutes as both Monare and Mabasa forced saves out of the Diables goalkeeper before Mpontshane was also brought to the action, but the sides ended up sharing the spoils in the end.

Here's how they started:

Pirates: Mpontshane, Jele, Sam, Mgonyama, Mako, Mabasao, Ndlovu, Makaringe, Shandu, Dlamini, Mabasa.

Subs: Sandilands, Mntambo, Tlolane, Zungu, Monare, Hlatshwayo, Monyane.

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