Mis­fir­ing Bucs drop points in CAF opener

Sunday Observer - - SPORT - Kick­OFf

BU­L­AWAYO -

Or­lando Pi­rates be­gan their CAF Cham­pi­ons League group stage cam­paign with a point af­ter be­ing held by FC Plat­inum at the Bar­bour­fields Sta­dium.

Ku­dak­washe Ma­hachi was handed a start for Pi­rates af­ter the Zimbabwean was on tar­get in his last two cameo ap­pear­ances, while Al­fred Nden­gane was also named in the lineup. Justin Shonga should have opened the scor­ing for Bucs in the ninth minute af­ter get­ting at the end of a counter-at­tack, but his low right footed strike was smoth­ered by goal­keeper Pet­ros Mhari.

Plat­inum Boys al­most went ahead three min­utes later af­ter Kelvin Mad­zongwe un­leashed a threat­en­ing strike from range but shot-stop­per Jack­son Mabokg­wane made a cru­cial save to­wards the bot­tom cor­ner. An­other chance fell for the Soweto giants af­ter 35 min­utes as In­no­cent Maela came very close to break­ing the dead­lock with a header that sailed ag­o­nis­ingly wide. The FC Plat­inum shot­stop­per was in in­spired form as he pro­duced a cou­ple fine saves in the clos­ing stages of the half to deny Lorch and Shonga and keep his side in the con­test. The Soweto giants started the sec­ond stanza brightly but they could not carve out clear chances in the fi­nal third as Shonga cut lone fig­ure at times. Sre­do­je­vic made his first change in the 65th minute, bring­ing on Zam­bian for­ward Au­gus­tine Mu­lenga for Shonga as he went for fresh legs in the re­main­ing 25 min­utes. How­ever, more of the same oc­curred for the vis­i­tors as the sec­ond half went on, while they also had a strong penalty claim nine min­utes be­fore time af­ter Vin­cent Pule was brought down in­side the box.

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