Johannesburg - It was unacceptable to miss so many opportunities, Orlando Pirates coach Roger de Sa said of his team's performance against AC Leopards of Congo in their opening CAF Champions League Group A match played at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
“If it was a boxing match I think we would have won in on points but it wasn’t, so you have to put the ball in the back of the net," De Sa said after countless scoring chances were missed during Saturday's game which ended in a goalless draw.
"The guys are a bit rusty and they are not 100 percent but they were still competitive out there, and will get better.”
The Bucs mentor said despite not putting the ball in the back of the net, he was impressed by his team’s resilience and the number of chances they created.
“I think in the second half we were a lot better. We got into it and had some really good chances. At this level, you got to put those away.
"Overall, for our first performance, and at this level, I wasn’t entirely unhappy but we have to do better and take our chances.”
Leopards coach Joseph Marius Omog said he was relieved to have come away with a draw and praised Pirates for their performance.
“I am satisfied about the point we got today but if the players had understood what I expected of them, we should have done much better,” he said.
“This is a very good Pirates team and if we want to beat them we will have to prepare and do much better than that.”
Despite a slow start, Pirates looked the sharper of the two sides taking into account the fact they had not played a competitive match since the middle of May.
Leopards, on the other hand, were lying top of their domestic league log, and were midway through their season.
The first real chance of the game though, fell to Leopards in the third minute when skipper Rudy Ndey found himself unmarked inside the box but his half-volley flew over the crossbar.
Pirates' Rooi Mahamutsa showed his rustiness as he misjudged a drop ball but fortunately keeper Senzo Meyiwa was quick off his line to deny Ndey from close range in the 10th minute.
The Buccaneers survived yet another Leopards scare in the 23rd minute, when Junior Mouzita turned on his marker outside the box and let rip but his effort crashed against the crossbar with Meyiwa a beaten man.
Four minutes before the break, Thabo Matlaba made a daunting run on the left and sent a beautiful cross into the box but Lennox Bacela arrived too late allowing keeper Lawrence Ngoe to make a clumsy save.
Pirates had another great chance when Myeni pulled the ball back across the goal but Daine Klate stumbled when all he needed to do was to toe the ball into an empty net.
On the stroke of half-time, Myeni should have given Pirates the lead but his decision to go for a header instead of tap-in saw his effort finding the side netting.
The second half started in similar fashion as Bacela watched his header, from a Klate corner, get cleared off the line by the Leopards defence.
In the 64th minute, Myeni broke loose on the left and sent in a low cross to Bacela who sent his close-range shot straight to the keeper, with the disbelief evident on the face of Pirates coach Roger de Sa.
Myeni was at it again in the 77th minute, showing the Leopards defenders a clean pair of heels before sending in a great cross only for Oupa Manyisa to miss the ball completely.
With eight minutes left, a mix-up in the Leopards defence saw the ball falling fortuitously for Manyisa who went for power instead of precision and saw his effort blocked.
The draw sees both teams tied on a point each in a group which includes Egyptian heavyweights Zamalek and Al Ahly, who are set to fight it out on Wednesday.
Pirates travel to Cairo to play Al Ahly on August 4, while Leopards take on Zamalek on August 3.