Pirates fire blanks in Zim
Posted: 12 January 2019 Time: 01:12 pm
Orlando Pirates opened their CAF Champions League campaign by playing to a 0-0 draw with FC Platinum in Group B on Saturday.
The result means that all four teams in Group B have just the one point to show for their efforts after the first round of fixtures.
Despite coming in to the match as heavy underdogs, it was clear from the outset that FC Platinum were not going to be a walkover as they controlled the opening stages of the game.
However, the first real chance of the match fell the way of the visitors in the tenth minute. After stretching Platinum's defence by going from right to left and back to the right quickly, Thembinkosi Lorch found Justin Shonga in plenty of space in the box but the Pirates striker could not beat Petros Mhari in the hosts' goal.
Soon after, Platinum midfielder Kelvin Madzongwe brought the best out of Jackson Mabokgwane with a fiercely struck long-range drive which the Orlando Pirates goalkeeper did brilliantly to get his fingertips to and turn around the post.
Pirates were then guilty of leaving Platinum midfielder Devon Chafa unmarked in the box, but Chafa could only hit his volley straight at the goalkeeper.
The Buccaneers were beginning to gain the ascendancy and in the 35th minute, they came close to scoring again when Innocent Maela put his header narrowly wide from a Kudakwashe Mahachi corner.
Lorch, who was having another impressive outing, came closest next when his rasping drive from a Mahachi delivery was palmed away by Mhari.
On the stroke of half-time, Shonga hit his free-kick sweetly and on target but the attempt was well dealt with once again by Mhari, who was single-handedly responsible for keeping the tie scoreless as the sides headed in to the interval.
It was a bright start to the second half for the Sea Robbers with Marshall Munetsi coming close with his header from another tantalising Mahachi corner.
The game went through a bit of a lull for the next 15 minutes before Madzongwe showed his long-range shooting ability once again in the 60th minute as his effort rose inches above the crossbar.
Pirates brought Augustine Mulenga on for Shonga and Mahachi off for Vincent Pule as they looked for more penetration up front. Platinum responded by swapping Ali Sadiki out for Gift Mbweti.
It was a match that saw plenty of opportunities on the day but with both sides failing to convert as the tie ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Pirates: Mabokgwane; Mbekile, Jele, Ndengane, Maela, Munetsi, Mlambo (Mntambo 86'), Nyatama, Mahachi (Pule 74'), Lorch, Shonga (Mulenga 65').
Subs: Mpontshane, Mntambo, Makola, Mako, Pule, Mulenga, Gabuza.
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Milutin Sredojevic