ORLANDO Pirates recorded a vital win away from home as they walked away 3-0 winners against Egypt giants Al Alhly this afternoon
Both Al Ahly and Orlando Pirates, playing in front of an empty stadium due to security reasons, started the game well, but it was the visitors who showed more determination and got their first three corners of the game in the opening five minutes.
However, nothing positive came out of those corners as the Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy made a comfortable save from a third corner.
Pirates were ahead just after 11 minutes through Thandani Ntshumayelo’s left footed shot following a delightful pass from Collins Mbesuma.
Sifiso Myeni committed a foul outside the box and the Egyptian side nearly equalized from the resultant free-kick after some scramble defending from the Pirates defence which saw Lucky Lekgwathi clear Ahmed Shokry’s shot off the line.
The two sides struggled with possession and the visitors tried to play long balls from the back to their lone striker Mbesuma, but the Pirates forward was tightly marked by Wael Gomaa.
Pirates won a free-kick in a promising area outside the Al Ahly box in the 32nd minute, but Daine Klate’s curling effort was deflected for a corner.
Al Ahly won a penalty in the 36th minute after Andile Jali was adjudged to have fouled Mohammed Aboutrika in the box and Soliman stepped up, only for his spot-kick to be saved by Senzo Meyiwa.
Mbesuma clearly needed support from his teammates upfront as he made a 43rd minute run into the Al Ahly box, but his poorly taken shot was comfortably saved by Ekramy.
The home side should have been level before the halftime, but Meyiwa made a fine save before Abdul Zaher receives his marching orders for a second bookable offense on Rooi Mahamutsa as Pirates held on to their lead.
Al Ahly came back strongly in the second half and created a half chance inside the opening five minutes, but Thabo Matlaba dealt with it wisely as he played it back to his goalkeeper Meyiwa.
Meyiwa pulled off a brilliant save on the hour mark, denying Al Ahly from distance as Pirates afforded their opponents no space to penetrate.
Pirates launched their attacks from the middle of the park, but the through passes were often too strong for Lennox Bacela who was introduced in the second half.
Happy Jele should have doubled the Pirates lead from Daine Klate’s free-kick in the 67th minute, but the defender could not connect with his diving header and Al Ahly recovered in time to clear.
Ahmed Fathy nearly gave Pirates that second goal in the 69th minute after a beautiful cross from Ndumiso Mabena on the right as the ball went behind Bacela.
The home side won a fre-kick with 20 minutes to go, but El Sayed’s effort was blocked the Pirates wall as the Egyptian giants continued to search for the equalizer.
Pirates won a penalty in the 72nd minute after Klate was brought down in the box, and it was Andile Jali who stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way.
Pirates were 3-0 up with 15 minutes to go through Sifiso Myeni who beat the offside trap and rounded the Al Ahly keeper to register his name on the score sheet.
The visitors started dominating as their opponents showed signs of fatigue after conceding that third goal, and Bacela nearly made it 4-0 a few minutes later, but the lanky striker was denied by the crossbar.
Al Ahly got a free-kick on the edge of the Pirates box, but failed to capitalize with Senzo Meyiwa clearly beaten.
Pirates continued to pile pressure on their Egyptian opponents and won a free-kick outside the Al Ahly box in the last five minutes, but they also failed to capitalize.
Meyiwa ensured Pirates kept a clean sheet away from home by denying Al Ahly with a fine block in the 88th minute as the visitors walked away with all three points.-www.goal.com