Pirates beat Zamalek to top Group A

ORLANDO Pirates brought a great day of South African sport to a fantastic conclusion with a 4-1 demolition of Egyptian giants Zamalek in a CAF Champions League Group A clash at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night.

Goals from Lennox Bacela, Tlou Segolela, Sifiso Myeni and Daine Klate saw the Buccaneers to a second successive comprehensive victory over Egyptian opposition, having beaten Al Ahly 3-0 just under a fortnight ago. 

The win also completed a treble success on a huge sporting day for the nation, with Roger De Sa’s side following in the footsteps of Bafana Bafana and the Springboks, who won their respective matches against Burkina Faso and Argentina earlier in the day in the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day.

The win sees the South African team open up a three-point lead at the top of the Group A standings, while the White Knights are bottom of the log and very close to being eliminated from the running for the final four.

Pirates created the first chance of the match just seven minutes in, with Daine Klate picking out Happy Jele from a free kick, but the defender placed his header wide of the target from a couple of metres out.

On 15 minutes Zamalek had their first shot in anger through midfielder Islam Al Morsy, but his long-range effort was turned away for a corner kick by Senzo Meyiwa in what was an excellent save from the in-form goalkeeper.

The Buccaneers were dealt a blow when Andile Jali, who had been struggling from the early minutes, had to be replaced by Lehlogonolo Masalesa.

Yet the Soweto giants didn’t let the loss of Jali slow them down, and in the 27th minute they opened the scoring when Lennox Bacela allowed a Klate pass to run across his body, held off a defender and then fired a powerful shot into the back of the net.

Zamalek struck back quickly, levelling matters at 1-1 just two minutes later through the dangerous Mahmoud Shikabala, who got free of the defence before sliding a low shot beyond Meyiwa.

Zamalek goalkeeper Mahmoud Gennesh was called upon to make a couple of good saves from Tlou Segolela and Klate, but the half ended with the teams locked at a goal apiece.

The visitors started the second half quite brightly, but they found themselves 2-1 down in the 52nd minute when Tlou Segolela latched onto a great through ball from Bacela before providing an exquisite finish with the outside of his right foot.

Bucs make sure they didn’t repeat their mistake of the first half and instead extended their advantage in the 74th minute. Klate provided a cross from the left and Sifiso Myeni first touched the ball beyond a defender before coolly passing the ball into the back of the net for 3-1.

The cherry on top arrived in the 82nd minute when Segolela provided a pull-back from the by-line that Klate tucked home at the near post to make it 4-1 and round off one of the Buccaneers best performances in African club football.-www.orlandopiratesfc.com



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