Pirates bag Egyptian scalp
Orlando Pirates (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates completed a rare double with their second Egyptian scalp in a fortnight, with a rampant 4-1 victory over Zamalek in their CAF Champions League Group A match at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
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The result followed the 3-0 demolition of Al Ahly - fellow African giants from Egypt - on August 4, and capped a glorious run in the space of two weeks for The Buccaneers.
The sides went to the break at one goal apiece, but The Buccaneers came out inspired and produced a ruthless performance seldom witnessed from a South African side in the African competition.
Goals from Lennox Bacela, Tlou Segolela, Sifiso Myeni and Daine Klate helped Pirates rise to a four goal total few would have expected.
With the win, Pirates moved further ahead at the top of their group on seven points after three games, with both AC Leopards and Al Ahly on four points.
In the seventh minute, Pirates had their first chance from a setpiece. A Klate free kick from close to the touchline whipped in a curving ball, and Bacela rose to meet the ball but his header was wide from close range.
Six minutes later, Pirates spurned another opportunity. Klate crossed the ball for Bacela who setup Happy Jele and his shot was saved from Zamalek keeper Mahmoud Rehim.
The best chance of the early exchanges came from a rare Zamalek attack in the 15th minute. A quick turn and long range shot from Omar Gaber forced a diving save from Senzo Meyiwa in the Pirates goal.
Pirates took the lead in the 27th minute. Klate made a diagonal run, and his pass for Bacela was behind Zamalek defender Salah Ebrahim, and the Pirates forward showed good strength with his turn before firing his side into a 1-0 lead.
The advantage, however, was short-lived as Pirates went to sleep on defence and conceded two minute later. Mahmoud Fadlallah was given a free run into the Pirates box and had no problem finding the back of the net to make it 1-1.
Shortly after the shock of conceding, Segolela snatched up a loose ball in the Zamalek goal and drove a low shot at Rehim, but the keeper had the attempt covered.
On the 33rd minute mark, Klate tried his luck from the edge of the area and forced another good save from Rehim.
Moments before the interval, Oupa Manyisa also had a go from range with a fierce strike, but the ball drifted just wide of the left post.
Pirates went ahead again in the 52nd minute. A blistering run from Bacela released Segolela into the box, and his toe-punt rocketed into the top left corner of goal to make it 2-1 to Pirates.
Segolela forced a reaction save from Rehim.
Pirates drew further ahead with a majestic flowing team move in the 74th minute. From a clearance, Thabo Matlaba received the ball on the left touchline, and passed to Klate in the middle. Klate drew out the defenders before passing to Myeni in the area and he slammed the ball home to make it 3-1 to the Soweto outfit.
In the 82nd minute, Pirates continued their dominant play with their fourth goal. Segolela surged toward the corner flag and nailed a low ball into the area and Klate deflected the ball in from close range to make it 4-1 to the home side.