JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates will have to get the job done away from home after being held to a goalless draw by African Stars in their Caf Champions League first round, first leg match at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Saturday evening.
Credit must go to the Namibian side, whose defence held together admirably to keep out the Pirates strikers.
Pirates winger Linda Mntambo and Zambia attacker Justin Shonga proved more than a handful for the Stars’ rearguard.
At the other end of the park, Happy Jele was in fine form, with his well-timed tackle on the dangerous Stars striker Panduleni Nekundi shortly before the break ensuring that the scoreline was level after 45 minutes.
On the hour mark Pirates did manage to get the ball into the back of the Stars net, but the goal was disallowed due to a handball infringement by the ‘goal-scorer’ Shonga.
In search of an advantage on home soil, Pirates introduced Thembinkosi Lorch for Mpho Makola and Thabo Qalinge for Abbububaker Mobara, but the night ended goalless.
The return leg between the two sides will be played in Windhoek, Namibia on December 22, with Pirates knowing that a win will book their place in the group stage of Africa’s showpiece club tournament.
⚫️⚪️🔴⭐️— Orlando Pirates FC (@orlandopirates) December 15, 2018
FT || @orlandopirates 0-0 @african_StarsFC.
Honours even in the first leg as Stars hold on for a draw in a largely defensive effort. The Bucs will travel to Namibia knowing that a goal away could change this tie & cement their advantage.
☠️⭐️☠️⭐️☠️#CAFCL #OnceAlways pic.twitter.com/1zUD3NQ6Ng
African News Agency (ANA)