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Pirates Qualify For CAFCC Last Eight

Despite finishing the game with ten men, Orlando Pirates booked their place in the last eight of the CAF Confederation Cup after they beat Algeria’s JS Saoura 2-0 at the Stade du 5 Juillet 1962 on Sunday evening.

The victory lifts Pirates back to the top of Group B, on 12 points, two ahead of Al-Ittihad, who Pirates will host at the start of April. 

Saoura remains third on seven points, while Royal Leopard are fourth with zero. Saoura could still qualify if they beat Leopard in their last fixture, and Pirates beat Al-Ittihad.

Saoura 0-2 Orlando Pirates

An early chance fell to Ntsikelelo Nyauza as he got onto the end of a Deon Hotto ball in the eighth minute, but his header went wide of goal.

A flamboyant attempt by Ismail Saadi in the 17th minute failed to test Richard Ofori. 

Pirates had to deal with a lot of pressure from the Algerians in the first half, and Ofori had to make a good save from Saadi in the 35th minute. Oussama Bellatrache headed over moments later.

Just before the break, Kabelo Dlamini’s ambitious attempt was wayward, and at half-time, while the home team had the better of it, the score remained goalless.

But the opening ten minutes of the second half belonged to Pirates, and they would grab the lead three minutes after the break, Nyauza connecting well this time to a Hotto free kick, and it was steered into the back of the net.

And Pirates made it 2-0 in the 51st minute, as Dlamini was played into the clear by an excellent Bandile Shandu pass, and Dlamini’s composed shot was too good for Saoura’s goalkeeper Zakaria Saidi.

Saoura looked for a way back into the game but the goals had knocked the wind out of their sails, and their frustrations began to show.

Bennemar Mellal’s attempt in the 74th minute was always going over.

Pirates were reduced to ten men a minute later when Goodman Mosele was shown a second yellow card, after he going down injured. While the stretcher came on to fetch Mosele, and the Pirates’ players were calling for a sub, referee Mahamadou Keita from Mali decided to bizarelly send off the Pirates midfielder.

And while Saoura pushed hard to get back into the match, Pirates managed the final quarter of an hour well, and stifled any attempts at goal. Saadi’s header in 90th minute lacked power and Ofori comfortably saved.

Paseko Mako was on target in stoppage time, but Saidi made a simple save.

An important victory for the Pirates, who seal their qualification with one game remaining in the group stages.

iDiski Times
iDiski Times
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