CAF Champions League
Result: AC Leopards 1-0 Pirates
Date: 14 September 2013
Venue: Stade Municipal Denis Sassou N’Guesso
Orlando Pirates failed to deal with a plucky AC Leopards as they suffered a 1-0 defeat in their CAF Champions League group stage match in Dolisie on Saturday.
The Sea Robbers had arguably the two best chances of the first-half, both falling to Lennox Bacela but both were wasted as the deadlock remained. Leopards then turned up the heat after the break and secured the win
AC Leopards showed their intentions to push forward early on and won a free-kick on the edge of the area but their first shot hit the wall before the rebound was smacked wide.
Daine Klate responded with a set-piece for Pirates in the 16th minute but the winger could only send it straight at the goalkeeper.
Bacela should have done better with a ball played over the top moments later but he hesitated waiting for the offside flag and the goalkeeper scrambled to get a vital touch on the ball and it was cleared.
Bhebey Ndey then hit a shot off target at the other end before Senzo Meyiwa made a superb diving save to keep out a curling strike at goal. Leopards worked the ball to the edge of the area moments later but rifled a shot wide.
Bacela then missed the chance of the half as Patrick Phungwayo's cross was deflected into his path but with time and space he scooped his volley off target as he struggled to get control of the ball.
Rooi Mahamutsa chested down a ball into the area with two minutes left in the first period but produced a real defender's effort with a strike that sailed way off target.
Leopards showed their intentions at the start of the second-half with Ndey working Meyiwa just two minutes in.
Pirates seemed happy to sit back and soak up some pressure but that decision saw Leopards go all out in attack.
After sustained pressure, their ninth corner of the game would pay off as Meyiwa came off his line with no chance of collecting. The ball fell for Dimitri Bissiki who lashed his shot past the goalkeeper who was backtracking towards his line.
Leopards were looking for a killer second goal but Daine Klate would go close with 11 minutes to go as his free-kick curled just wide of the target.
Pirates struggled to deal with the difficult pitch in the dying minutes as they tried to mount a comeback and Leopards stood firm to secure the spoils.
The result opens up the group once again as Leopards move level on points with Pirates and Al Ahly – with the latter having the chance to move clear if they beat Zamalek on Sunday.
A further blow for Pirates will be the fact that CAF uses head-to-head in the group stages, meaning that their better goal difference would not be at their advantage should Leopards finish level on points with them at the end of the group stage.
Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Lucky Lekgwathi, Rooi Mahamutsa, Patrick Phungwayo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Lehlogonolo Masalesa, Oupa Manyisa, Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Sifiso Myeni, Daine Klate, Lennox Bacela.
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