Pirates Into CAFCC Last Eight
Orlando Pirates are through to the quarter-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup, despite losing 1-0 to Enyimba International in Nigeria.
It was their first defeat in the group
Pirates go through and they will be joined from Group A by Enyimba, who join Pirates on 9 points. ES Setif beat Al Ahli Benghazi 1-0 in the other game. Enyimba top the group on the head-to-head rule, thanks to their away goal in South Africa.
Enyimba 1-0 Orlando Pirates
Enyimba scored in stoppage time to beat Pirates 1-0 at the Enyimba International Stadium on Wednesday night.
There were a few early chances for Enyimba, Farouk Mohammed with a chance in the 7th minute, and Olisema Chinedu two minutes later, but both efforts were off target.
Pirates were awarded a free kick in the 13th minute, and Linda Mntambo went close to opening the scoring, but his free kick struck the crossbar, and Innocent Maela was unable to get the rebound on target.
Wayne Sandilands had to be alert in the 20th minute as Olatunji Matthew threatened from long range.
The veteran goalkeeper was called into action in the 38th minute, saving low down to deny another Enyimba attack.
At halftime it remained goalless. With ES Setif leading 1-0 at the same time in the other game, Pirates had one foot in the door of the last eight, with Setif joining them as things stood.
The second saw Pirates under a lot of pressure from the Nigerians, as they pushed for a victory that would see them qualify as well, and while there were a few entries into the final third, Sandilands had very little to do as the second half wore on.
There was a slight concern when the goalkeeper went down with a half hour to go, especially because Pirates did not have a back-up goalkeeper on the bench.
While the shots did come in from Enyimba, they were off target time and time again.
Tshegofatso Mabasa thought he had a penalty in the 80th minute, but the referee waved played on, ruling the Pirates striker had not been fouled.
Mabasa’s effort in the 83rd minute was easily saved by Enyimba’s goalkeeper John Noble.
Enyimba grabbed the winner in stoppage time though, as Olisemu Chinedu grabbed the vital goal that saw Enyimba join Pirates in the last eight, at Setif’s expense.