Orlando Pirates have one foot in the CAF Confederations Cup final after beating Al Ahli Tripoli 2-0 away from home on Sunday evening.
It was Pirates who showed the early initiative, and the Buccaneers were in the lead in the seventh minute. Innocent Maela heading in on the rebound, after Kwame Peprah’s initial header had struck the crossbar.
Thembinkosi Lorch’s effort in the 21st minute was deflected behind, and while Al Ahli was seeing more of the possession, it was Pirates who looked more likely to score again.
And it was Goodman Mosele who made it 2-0 in the 28th minute, who arrived late in the box to volley home an Al Ahli clearance from a Peprah cross.
Just before half-time Deon Hotto went close to adding the third but was denied at close range, before shooting the rebound over. At the break, Pirates led by two.
Hotto had another good chance in the 58th minute, but Mohamed Nashnush saved the goal-bound effort with his outstretched leg. Nashnush saved again in the 67th minute, this time from Bandile Shandu’s improvised attempt.
Abel Mabaso went close in the 73rd minute, but his shot from the edge of the area went just over the crossbar.
Substitute Siphesihle Ndlovu went just wide in the 80th minute, and then the game was halted as the floodlights went off at the Martyrs of February Stadium.
Fortunately, it was just for a few minutes, and the game resumed, only for the lights to fail again five minutes later and the match to end with limited lighting.
It was a good away performance for Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids’ team, with Richard Ofori’s goal hardly threatened, and Pirates are now in the driving seat ahead of next week’s second leg at Orlando Stadium.
In the other semi-final, TP Mazembe beat RS Berkane 1-0 thanks to a 95th minute goal by John Bakata.