Cape Town - Orlando Pirates beat CS Sfaxien 2-0 in their CAF Confederation Cup clash at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night with starlets Thabo Rakhale and Menzi Masuku grabbing a goal each in superb fashion.
Should Zamalek avoid defeat to AC Leopards in the other Group B CAF Confederation Cup game on Sunday, Bucs will automatically go through to the semi-finals with two games to spare.
The game started with a bit of pace as Pirates started to press in the fourth minute.
The Buccaneers got successive corners but failed to capitalise.
In the eighth minute, Rakhale got himself in a good position to shoot from an acute angle on the left side of the box but CS Sfaxien ‘keeper Rami Jeridi made a good save.
The Tunisian club got their first opportunity in goal in the 12th minute when Maher Hanechi made a low cross into the box after some clever play. Borhen Lahkimi took a shot but it went wide from close range.
Bucs nearly opened the scoring in the 24th minute when Sifiso Myeni let rip a thunderous effort at goal outside of the box but Rami was equal to the task and parried the ball away for a corner.
In the 37th minute, Rakhale put Pirates ahead with a superb finish into the top corner from 18 yards out following neat interplay between Kermit Erasmus and Oupa Manyisa.
Masuku doubled the lead in the 54th minute with a cool finish for the Bucs after a pin-point pass from Patrick Phungwayo.
At this stage Pirates were dominating and in the 60th minute Myeni off-loaded a good pass for Masuku, whose shot went over the bar from just outside the box.
Brighton Mhlongo was brought into the game in the 72nd minute as he came out of his line to collect a dangerous cross from Yassine Meryeh into the box.
Mhlongo again made two quick double saves in the 88th minute to deny CS Sfaxien any hopes of a comeback.