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Orlando Pirates recover to crush Eswatini part-timers in CAF Cup


Johannesburg (AFP) – Orlando Pirates captain Happy Jele scored and conceded an own goal as they thrashed Eswatini’s Royal Leopard 6-2 on Sunday after a disastrous start to their Cup group game of the CAF Confederation.

After a much-criticized away loss to Libya’s Al Ittihad last weekend, Soweto Buccaneers went two goals down within eight minutes of kick-off in the northeastern town of Mbombela. east of South Africa.

Jele deflected a shot into his own net and Thabiso Mokenkoane doubled the lead as he nodded past Pirates keeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, who bore the brunt of the loss to Ittihad.

Another own goal, this time from Machawe Dlamini, halved the deficit midway through the first half and a loose defense allowed Bandile Shandu and Ghana’s Kwame Peprah to score before half-time for the Pirates.

It was one-way traffic to Leopard goalkeeper Phephisani Msibi in the second half and Jele, Kabelo Dlamini and Zimbabwe’s Terrence Dzvukamanja scored for a decisive victory.

The Eswatini Police team’s heavy loss came after they caused one of the biggest shocks in the 18 years of the Confederation Cup by knocking out 2021 runners-up JS Kabylie of Algeria.

It didn’t help their cause that they were forced to harbor pirates in South Africa because their home country did not meet international standards.

Leopard will face Al Ittihad in a revamped match at Mbombela next Sunday before taking on Pirates again on March 13 in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.

The victory propelled 2015 Confederation Cup runners-up Pirates top of Group B with six points, Algeria’s JS Saoura and Ittihad have four each and Leopard is useless.

– Sixth consecutive victory for Pyramids –

Saoura came from behind to draw 1-1 with Ittihad in Benghazi as Mohamed Ouis canceled before half-time the lead that Mohamed Zubya had given the home side.

Egyptian club Pyramids, runners-up and semi-finalists in the last two editions, extended their winning streak in qualifying and group matches to six by beating Tunisian visitors CS Sfaxien 1-0 in Cairo.

The only goal in the Group A clash came three minutes into added time from former West Bromwich Albion centre-back Ali Gabr.

Pyramids are three points clear of Libya’s Al Ahly Tripoli, who also relied on defenders for goals with centre-back Ahmed el Trbi and full-back Mohamed el Monir in a 2-0 win over Zanaco from Zambia.

Moroccan side Renaissance Berkane, who beat Pyramids in the 2020 final, replaced Simba as leaders of Group D by beating the visitors Tanzania 2-0 thanks to goals from Adama Ba and Charki el Bahri.

Berkane has six points and Simba was joined in four by Niger’s National Gendarmerie, who beat former African champions ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast 2-0 in Niamey.

There was also a change at the top of Group C with Democratic Republic of Congo’s TP Mazembe beating Cameroon’s Coton Sport 1-0 in Lubumbashi to replace Egypt’s Al Masry.

Masry lost 1-0 to Confederation Cup group debutants Otoho Oyo, whose late winner Roland Okouri saw the Congo Brazzaville side slip from last place to second.