Pirates need a point to qualify for CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals

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Orlando Pirates will have to wait until after their final Group A match to know whether they will qualify for this season’s CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals. Pirates are still top of Group A after playing to a goalless draw with ES Sefit of Algeria in Soweto earlier this afternoon.

Bucs are still the only unbeaten side in the group with nine points. Enyimba of Nigeria who are second in the group, host bottom placed Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya tomorrow evening.

Orlando Pirates made three changes to the side that beat Maritzburg United 2-nil in a DSTV Premiership match on Sunday. Keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, Thulani Hlatshwayo, and Siphesihle Ndlovu were back in the starting line-up.

Pirates who top Group A, needed a win at home to guarantee themselves a place in this season’s quarter-finals. They came up against Algerian side, ES Setif, who needed maximum points to revive their chances of finishing in the top two to advance to the last-8.

The two sides played to a goalless draw in the first leg encounter hosted by Setif in Accra, Ghana, on the 10th of last month. Today, Pirates were forced to make an early change after an injury to Mpontshane in the opening 20 minutes. Substitute, Wayne Sandilands, had to step in to replace the injured Mpontshane.

The opening half was a bruising battle that produced very few scoring opportunities, and there were no goals at half-time. The home side started the second half like a house of fire with Tshegofatso Mabasa missing a clear cut chance to break the deadlock.

A header from inside the box by Vincent Pule went over the crossbar. Minutes later, Fortune Makaringe, failed to find the target. The visitors also created a lot of scoring opportunities in the second half and were let down by poor finishing and the Pirates defence resolute.

Setif’s best chance of the match came three minutes from time but the header went narrowly wide, and the match ended in a goalless draw. Pirates will visit Enyimba of Nigeria in their final group match next Wednesday, and ES Setif will host Al Ahly Benghazi on the same day.