Sunday Tribune - - SPORT -


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.

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