Orlando Pirates and Diables Noirs played to a goalless draw in the first leg of their CAF Confederation Cup second preliminary round tie on Friday.
Pirates handed Kwanda Mngonyama and Bongani Sam their first starts of the season, and also re-called upon Bandile Shandu, Kabelo Dlamini and Tshegofatso Mabasa.
After a tough start, the Buccaneers began to settle and carved out a few chances from in particular a free-kick won by Dlamini which Abel Mabaso didn’t use to good effect.
Diables Noirs used the change in pendulum to good effect and questioned Pirates in such a manner that worked captain Happy Jele continuously as well as Mabaso.
Pirates managed to get back in the balance of play and in that worried the host with a short free-kick by Fortune Makaringe following a foul, but Diables Noirs cleared.
The Congolese outfit still unsettled the Buccaneers before the close of the first half, but lacked the necessary killer touch up front as the half finished goalless.
Noirs continued to enjoy the lion share of play following the second half, but the Buccaneers remained alert to every danger as Sam stopped a counter-attack gaining momentum.
Pirates battled and battled away at each passing moment 64 minutes in with the tie heavily poised, whilst Dlamini vacated in the place of Thabang Monare.
The Buccaneers enjoyed a strong finish to the match with Tshegofatso Mabasa nodding a free-kick from Monare inches wide, whilst Noirs struck the post from a move at the other end.
Pirates missed two good chances late on from a loose shot by Monare which the shot-stopper saved and a free-kick by Mabasa that was smothered too, as it finished goalless.
Orlando Pirates: Mpontshane, Jele, Sam, Mgonyama, Mako, Mabasao, Ndlovu, Makaringe, Shandu, Dlamini, Mabasa.
Subs: Sandilands, Mntambo, Tlolane, Zungu, Monare, Hlatshwayo, Monyane.
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