On Friday 15 October the journey in the Caf Confederation Cup began for Orlando Pirates with an away match. In their first outing in the preliminary rounds the Buccanneers were up against Congolese Diables Noirs.
The encounter took place at the Stade Alphonse Massemba-Dèbat and it edes in a goalless draw. The home side was in search of an early goal and managed to put the Bucks under a lot of pressure. But no shots on target were recorded as the defence did a tremendous job in defending Siyabonga Mpontshane.
After the first fifteen minutes of the match Pirates managed to pull themselves under the wait of Noirs and were causing troubles for the home side especially on transition. Tshegofatso Mabasa had a one on one with the goalkeeper before the half hour mark but the Noirs goalminder managed to get to the throughball first.
Before the end of the first forty five, Noirs gained an upper hand again with supporters pushing forward to victory but the Sea Robbers held on until the whistleman blew it.
To beef up the midfield and deal with the physical Noirs, Pirates introduced Thabang Monare in the place of Kabelo Dlamini in the 60th minute. Despite the homeside's desperation Mpontshane made his first save of the game in the last 20 minutes when he stopped a powerful volley.
In the last 15 minutes of the game Pirates earned a set piece just outside the box but Monare's cross was inches wide from Mabasa. Immediately after that on the opposite end of the park Pirates nearly conceded an own goal in a mix up, which resulted in the ball coming off the goalpost.
In the closing stage both teams were searching for a winning goal with both Monare and Mabasa forcing saves from the goalkeeper while Mpontshane was also tested.
Pirates first eleven:
Mpontshane, Jele, Sam, Mngonyama, Mako, Mabaso, Ndlovu, Makaringe, Shandu, Dlamini, Mabasa.
Sandilands, Mntambo, Tlolane, Zungu, Hlatshwayo, Monare.
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