Mixed fortunes for PSL teams in Africa; Pirates win, Gallants lose
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Cape Town — Visiting Orlando Pirates ran out 2-0 winners against LPRC Oilers in their CAF Confederation Cup play-off first-leg clash at the Samuel Kenyon Doe Sports Stadium in Liberia on Sunday evening.
The two away goals will prove a massive advantage for Pirates in their quest to secure a berth in the group phase of the Confederation Cup. The second leg will be played next Sunday at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
After a cracking start by Oilers, striker Kelvin Konuwa had an early scoring chance, but his parting shot flew straight into the grateful arms of Pirates keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane.
Pirates came within a whisker of scoring midway the half when attacking midfielder Linda Mntambo laid on a scoring feed for Zimbabwean Terrence Dzvukamanja but the effort was held out by the upright.
Soon afterwards striker Randy Dukuly came close for Oilers, and then midfielder Ebenezer Solo missed a penalty.
Pirates opened the scoring just ahead of the halftime break through striker Tshegofatso Mabasa (1-0).
After Pirates protected their slender 1-0 lead in the second half and in added injury time, they landed an ‘insurance’ goal. Fortune Makaringe was the scorer after excellent work down the left flank by teammate Bongani Sam.
Meanwhile, PSL strugglers Marumo Gallants suffered cruel fate in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. They went down 1-0 to TP Mazembe after an own goal by captain Lehlohonolo Nonyane in their CAF Confederation Cup play-off first leg clash on Sunday afternoon.
On the stroke of halftime, TP Mazembe struck a free-kick from 35 metres out, into the Gallants penalty area. Nonyane ran across the face of his posts to head the ball clear, but instead, the ball flew into the back of Gallants' nets.
It turned out to be the only goal of the match.
The Congolese giants Mazembe, five-times Champions League title holders, dominated at the start after launching several penetrative attacks down the left channels but failed to hit the target.
Gallants staged a late fightback in the hope of scoring an away goal. They managed to find openings in the opposition's rearguard, but their parting shots were wayward. The way Gallants were tormenting the Mazembe defence in the closing stages, belied their lowly position at the foot-end of the DStv Premiership standings.
The result would have pleased DRC fans after Gallants knocked out another Congolese side AS Vita in an earlier round.
Mazembe dropped down from the Champions League play-offs after they were knocked out by AmaZulu in an earlier round. Mazembe are two-time Confederation Cup winners.
The second leg will be played next Sunday at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.