Orlando Pirates turned on a dominant performance to thump visiting Al Ahli Benghazi of Libya 2-0 in a Caf Confederation Cup tie played at Orlando Stadium on Sunday evening.
Pirates needed a win to stay apace with Nigeria’s Enyimba, who play Algeria’s ES Setif in another Group A tie in a late kick off.
The opening goal came from an unlikely source, defender Ntsikelelo Nyauza who took advantage of confusion when the Ahli defence failed to clear a corner kick. Nyauza scrappily slotted in from close range to thrust Bucs into the lead.
They continued harassing the Ahli Benghazi defence and Tshegofatso Mabasa came close to making it 2-0, but could not time his run well enough to connect a well-struck cross from Deon Hotto. However, he got it right six minutes later when he met Hotto’s perfect delivery into the box that Abubakar Milad deflected to beat his own goalkeeper.
In the second half, Buccaneers were still the dominant side, creating a myriad of scoring opportunities.
Their efforts paid off in the 69th minute when Kabelo Dlamini, who turned on a bright performance, added the third goal. He blasted home after collecting a rebound off Mabasa’s point-blank shot that was saved by the visitors’ goalkeeper.
In the 78th minute, the visitors had their best chance of the game. A well-taken free-kick delivered into the box found no takers and rolled out inches wide.
Vincent Pule could have scored the fourth in the 90th minute but was denied by the Ahli Benghazi’s goalkeeper Zuba Ateya.
The win takes Pirates, who are unbeaten in the competition, to eight points after four games. Should Enyimba drop points later on Sunday night, Pirates will maintain top position with two more rounds to go to conclude the group stage.
By Mthokozisi Dube