Orlando Pirates have one foot in the CAF Confederation Cup final after their 2-0 win in the semifinal first leg over Al Ahli Tripoli of Libya at Martyrs of February Stadium yesterday.
First-half goals from Innocent Maela and Goodman Mosele gave the Buccaneers the advantage heading into the second leg at Orlando Stadium on Sunday at 6pm.
It was an impressive performance from the Soweto giants. Despite struggling in the DStv Premiership, they look a different side in this competition.
They didn’t give Al Ahli any room as the frustrated hosts failed to trouble goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
The Buccaneers will now be favourites to qualify for the final – their first in CAF competitions since 2015 – having scored two away goals without reply.
They got off to a flyer as Maela pounced onto a spill by Mohamed Nashnush following a corner from Deon Hotto and slotted in from close range. It was a deserved lead from the Buccaneers as they were enjoying possession earlier on with the home side struggling to contain them.
The away goal was what they were looking for in this first leg, to take an advantage back to Orlando and they will be happy that they scored two.
After taking the lead, they didn’t sit back and defend as they searched for a second. They applied a high press and made it difficult for Al Ahli to play.
Al Ahli could not cope with that high pressure from the Buccaneers and were forced into errors. One of those errors saw them being punished as Mosele, who was having a good game, made it 2-0 just before the half-hour mark when he slotted into the top corner.
Pirates allowed Al Ahli to have the ball just outside the box but didn’t give them any space behind and that’s why they didn’t trouble keeper Ofori ,who was a spectator in the opening half.
The Soweto giants went into the interval in the driver’s seat with the home side offering little going forward.
The match was delayed for about 10 minutes around the 80th minute mark as floodlights inexplicably went off.