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Pirates not home and dry yet in Confed Cup

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Orlando Pirates will need a result in their final group game or a favour from Enyimba later on Wednesday afternoon to advance to the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup after being held to a goalless draw by Setif.

Tempers flare up as players from Orlando Pirates and ES Setif square up during their CAF Confederation Cup clash at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates will need a result from their last match of the group stages or for Group A rivals Enyimba to beat Ahli Benghazi on Thursday in order for them to reach the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup this season.

That waiting game could have been avoided though. But Pirates were held to a goalless draw by ES Setif in their penultimate group stage match at the Orlando Stadium on Wednesday afternoon – as they remained with nine points, one behind next opponents Enyimba.

After a roller-coaster outing in domestic football, following the humiliating 4-1 loss to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup semi-finals and 2-0 win over Maritzburg United in the league, Pirates were hoping to continue with their winning outing at home in continental football.

They had won all their last three games in the competition at home – two coming in the group stage against Enyimba and Benhgazi. Against Setif, they started well as expected, making forays into the visitors final third in the first half but their finishing let them down.

They were nearly punished for their wasteful antics, Akram Djahnit curling set-piece on the stroke of halftime forcing out a high-flying save from Wayne Sandilands, who had replaced the injured Siyabonga Mpontshane midway through the first half.

Pirates, though, missed a pin-point opportunity early in the second stanza. After a quick ones-and-twos between Deon Hotto and Vincent Pule, the latter set-up Tshegofatso Mabasa who unceremoniously put his shot over the crossbar.

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A defensive blunder from Thulani Hlatshwayo in defence awarded the Algerians a set-piece on the edge of the penalty area. But Djahnit was once again denied the opener by the sharp reflexes of veteran goalkeeper Sandilands.

@Mihlalibaleka