South-Africa

Pirates perhaps robbed in Champions League

2019-02-04 10:30
Justin Shonga (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Orlando Pirates kept top position in Group B in the CAF Champions League following their 0-0 draw with Esperance on Saturday night.

Milutin Sredojevic made three changes from the team that lost to Black Leopards in the Nedbank Cup competition, as Wayne Sandilands got a surprise start in goal while Marshall Munetsi and Ben Motshwari also earned a start.

READ: Pirates 'expose' Esperance with messy dressing room pic

Esperance had same the record as the Sea Robbers coming to the match with four points after drawing one and winning another one of their two games in the group standings.

After surviving a frightening moment from the visitors' free-kick situation, Milutin Sredojevic's men carved out their best chance through striker Justin Shonga in the tenth minute, with the Zambia star firing just wide of the upright.

The home team had a strong penalty appeal in the 28th minute after Thembinkosi Lorch was brought down inside the box with a studs up tackle, but the official failed to take any action against the Esperance defenders.

There was further controversy at the end of the first stanza when Shonga scored what appeared to be a legitimate goal but the goal was disallowed for offside, despite the replay suggesting the player was certainly onside.

Vincent Pule almost scored for Bucs five minutes into the second stanza with a powerful strike after cutting inside, but strike went just over the crossbar.

Esperance defender Chamseddine Dhaouadi almost scored an own goal with a poor clearance at the near post, but Jeridi showed great skills to keep the ball out while Vincent Pule was unable finish off the excess.

Innocent Maela had a superb opportunity to get the advantage for Pirates nine minutes before time after charging inside the box but as he was about shoot, he lost his balance and the visitors' defence blocked the tame shot.

Both sides had a couple of half chances in the late stages of the clash, but neither outfit could break the deadlock and they had to settle for a point.

 

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