The Buccaneers started brightly and the early signs suggested that URA could suffer a heavy loss away from home, but it all turned out differently as the Ugandans put up a brave fight to the end.
As early as the fourth minute Rooi Mahamutsa was on the scoresheet to give Eric Tinkler’s men an early lead with a strike from distance that URA’s Brian Bwete knew nothing about.
Pirates continued to dominate possession, but struggled to create any decent chances.
In the 26th minute, Mahamutsa almost went from hero to villain as URA attacked from the left and the central defender blocked the cross for a corner, which could have easily found his own net.
Bucs went to the break leading 1-0.
After the interval, the Soweto giants continued to dominate possession, but with little to show for it in terms of chances and surprisingly, Tinkler opted to replace striker Lennox Bacela with defensive midfielder Thandani Ntshumayelo in the 57th minute.
However, attacking midfielder Thabo Rakhale was introduced for Mpho Makola in the 63rd minute and Bucs started to attack again. To add more firepower, Lehlohonolo Majoro came on for Kermit Erasmus in the 73rd minute.
The move paid off.
‘Major’ combined with Oupa Manyisa to score Bucs’ second in the 84th minute.
Pirates, though, will have it all to do in the second leg after Happy Jele scored an own-goal at the death to give URA some hope of progressing to the next round.
Pirates XI: Mhlongo, Jele, Mahamutsa, Sangweni, Matlaba, Makola (Rakhale 63'), Masalesa, Manyisa, Myeni, Erasmus (Majoro 76'), Bacela (Ntshumayelo 58')
URA XI: Bwete, Massa, Sekitto, Senkoomi, Othieno, Agaba, Yassar (Nkungwa 80'), Kyeyune, Feniali, Kalanda (Lwasa 57'), Munaaba