Cape Town - Orlando Pirates showed their class to fight back from two goals down and
claim a 2-2 away draw against Gabon’s CF Mounana in the first leg of their
second round CAF Confederation Cup tie. The match was played at the Stade
Augustin Monédan de Sibang in Libreville on Sunday.
The Buccaneers started slowly and were put under pressure from the onset by
the home side, who claimed the lead on the half hour mark after a defence-splitting
pass that caught the visitors’ backline napping.
Pirates also needed young goalkeeper Brighton Mhlongo to make several good
saves, while Mounana also struck the woodwork as they looked to add to their
advantage in the first half. The interval saw the Gabonese 1-0 up.
The second half continued in a similar vein to the first, though Pirates did
enjoy some more of the play and showed greater attacking intent. However,
Mounana doubled their advantage from the penalty spot after a foul in the
18-yard box by defender Ayanda Gcaba.
Yet, with around a quarter hour of regulation time left, Pirates substitute
Lehlohonolo Majoro scored a crucial goal to halve the deficit for the South
African side and give them hope of recovering the tie.
Eight minutes later Thabo Rakhale scored a fantastic individual goal, using
his skill to fool the home side’s defenders before finishing past the
goalkeeper to make it 2-2 and put Bucs in the driving seat for the second leg
with two away goals in the bag.
The return match will be played at Orlando Stadium in Soweto on the weekend
of May 1-3.