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.
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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
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
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
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.