• Pirates denied top spot in Caf Confed Group A

    Orlando Pirates extended their unbeaten run in the Caf Confederation Group A after playing out to a goalless draw against Al Ahli Benghazi at the Martyrs of February Stadium on Sunday evening.

    Josef Zinnbauer made four changes from their defeat to Kaizer Chiefs as the likes of Wayne Sandilands, Fortune Makaringe, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Gabadinho Mhango were all recalled to the starting line up.

    Al-Ahli got off to a good start and dominated processing in the opening exchanges of the games, while Pirates sat back and soaked up the pressure.

    Vincent Pule came close to handing Pirates the lead in the 21st minute from a free kick but the attacker saw his effort well saved by Murad Al Wuheeshi.

    Shamikh Hamid should’ve handed Al Ahli the breakthrough on the half hour mark but his strike from the edge of the box just missed the target from a resulting corner.

    The home side had another opportunity to break the deadlock from a free kick five minutes before the break but Ibrahem Bodabous’ strike sailed just wide of goal as the game went into the break locked at 0-0.

    The Buccaneers came out with more intent in the second half and nearly took the lead but Dzvukamanja failed to connect well with the ball to steer it home after receiving a great pass from Mhango.

    Pirates came really close to taking the lead in the 52nd minute but Motshwari could only hit the upright with his effort from range after beating the Al-Ahli keeper.

    Zinnbauer opted to bring on fresh legs in the 66th minute as Tshegofatso Mabasa was brought on to replace Dzvukamanja.

    Mabasa nearly made an instant impact since coming on to the pitch and had two chances in the space of two minutes but was unable to beat the Al-Ahli keeper on both occasions.

    Wayne Sandilands was called into action to make two crucial saves to keep his side in the game first to keep out a tricky ball floated towards goal before denying Al-Ahli from close range moments later.

    The Soweto giants then made another substitute in the 83rd minute as Kabelo Dlamini was brought on in place of Linda Mntambo.

    Pirates had a chance to win the game in stoppage time but Mhango’s effort crashed off the woodwork after beating the keeper as both side settled for a point each in Group A.