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05/10/2013 18:00

Pirates, Esperance in goalless draw

Posted: 5 October 2013 Time: 17:15

Orlando Pirates will take heart from their second half performance as they take a 0-0 scoreline into the second CAF Champions League semifinal against Esperance.

The Tunisians created the better chances early on, while Pirates enjoyed much time on the ball.

As early as the ninth minute, Esperance striker Joseph N'djeng-N'djeng was allowed time and space on the ball, with his left-footed strike hitting the roof of the net.

Despite the early warning, the home side was again on the backfoot as Oupa Manyisa lost possession just a minute later. The North Africans launched an attack and when Manyisa tried to recover the ball, Ace hit it forward and N'djeng was put through one-on-one with Senzo Meyiwa.

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Fortunately for Bucs, Meyiwa was at his best to make a save from N'djeng's attempt.

After that, no real chances were created until the 36th minute when Pirates finally managed to get the better of the Esperance defence.

Manyisa and Daine Klate combined down the left wing, with the latter whipping in a cross for Sifiso Myeni but Ntsunda's header was well wide.

The score was 0-0 at the break.

Bucs started the second half the better side, but at this point Esperance had decided to park a bus making it difficult for the Soweto side to create clear cut chances.

In fact, it took all of 20 minutes in the second stanza for Pirates to come close to scoring. Manyisa tried his luck from distance, but his shot was wide in the 65th minute.

Moments later, Tlou Segolela, who had replaced Myeni, had a penalty appeal turned down after crossing the ball and the Esperance defender appeared to handle the ball as he went down.

Chances were far and few between, but Pirates continued to dominate possession.

With four minutes to go of regulation time, Segolela's unexpected cross from the right was missed by Bacela, who was just behind as the ball went past in front of goal.

Thabo Matlaba almost stole it for Bucs at the death, but his thunderous strike was well saved by Moez Ben Cherifia.

That was it as it ended goalless.

Pirates: Senzo Meyiwa, Happy Jele, Thabo Matlaba, Rooi Mahamutsa, Siyabonga Sangweni, Thandani Ntshumayelo (Makola 78th), Oupa Manyisa, Andile Jali, Sifiso Myeni (Segolela 63rd), Daine Klate, Lennox Bacela

Esperance: Moez Ben Cherifia, Mohamed Ali Ben Mansour, Sameh Derbali, Khalil Chemmam, Chamseddine Dhaouadi, Khaled Mouelhi, Houcine Ragued, Harrison Afful, Ossama Darragi (Msakni 66th), Joseph N'djeng (Akaichi 79th), Youssef Blaili (Akremi 90th)

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