CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
FC PLATINUM (ZIM) 0 ORLANDO PIRATES (SA) 0
ORLANDO Pirates started their campaign in the group stage of the CAF Champions League with a goalless draw against Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum in Bulawayo yesterday. The result might be disappointing in isolation but if you factor in that group rivals Horoya and Esperance played to a draw on Friday, then it’s not that bad. A point away from home in the Champions League is big, while a win is gold. The Buccaneers have to do most of their business at home, starting on Friday against Horoya at Orlando Stadium. A win would put them in a comfortable position, especially since they also have to juggle the Absa Premiership and the Nedbank Cup this month. The Buccaneers were a lot like a cobra yesterday, calm and composed as they stalked their prey before unleashing a venomous attack. But they weren’t forceful enough in a contest they were the overwhelming favourites against a team appearing in this stage of the Champions League for the first time. Petros Mhari, through his brilliant saves, kept the hosts in the match. Kudakwashe Mahachi, who used to call this stadium home, was well watched by his countrymen. They were aware of the danger he poses, especially now that he is in a rich vein of form having scored two goals in his last two matches as a substitute. Bucs coach Milutin Sredojevic gave him a start in his hometown. Mahachi’s homecoming, however, wasn’t as pleasant as he would have wanted. He was a ghost for the better part of the game and made way for Vincent Pule in the last 15 minutes.