Zamalek held on to their second half lead to beat Pirates 2-1 in the return leg of the Caf Champions League match at the Al-Gouna Stadium
Orlando Pirates started on the back foot after being put under pressure by Zamalek from the first whistle, and the home side made it 1-0 from the penalty spot in the 6th minute after Lucky Lekgwathi had fouled Shikabala in the box.
Eid Abdel Malek was brave enough to step up and send Senzo Meyiwa the wrong way to the delight of a few thousand fans gathered at the Al-Gouna Stadium.
The visitors struggled to complete passes beyond their own half, and Tlou Segolela was at times isolated upfront, as Pirates midfield often sat back.
Pirates grabbed the equalizer in the 33rd minute after an individual brilliance from Lennox Bacela who turned one defender inside out before beating Abdul-Wahed with a deflected low shot.
Pirates exposed their opponents in wide areas, and Bacela nearly got himself a brace in the 41st minute after being left alone on the right hand side of the Zamalek box, but his defleted shot was saved by Abdul-Wahed.
Zamalek never really threatened Pirates after the equalizer, but the visitors were also let down by the final pass inside the Egyptians’ half, as the scoreline remained 1-1 at halftime.
Roger de Sa introduced Andile Jali for Tlou Segolela before the start of the second half to try and bring stability in the central midfield where Masalesa and Oupa Manyisa were operating.
Meyiwa was tested in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Pirates keeper did brilliantly to punch the Zamalek cross away from danger.
However, Meyiwa misread a corner kick in the 52nd minute and the ball found Salah Soliman unmarked in the far post, and the lanky defender nodded home to make it 2-1 to Zamalek.
Ahmed Gaafar should have made it 3-1 towards the hour mark after beating the offside, but Meyiwa was quick to come off his line and closed the angle, as the Zamalek forward missed the target.
Meyiwa was kept busy by the Egyptian giants, as he had to parry Gaafar’s shot in the 68th minute to keep Pirates in the game.
The game lost its tempo with 15 minutes remaining on the clock, but Pirates continued to work hard in search of that important second goal, as they looked to rescue a point away from home.
Zamalek had their penalty appeal turned town in the 78th minute after the ball hit Rooi Mahamutsa in the arm while challenging Shikabala in the box.
Pirates should have been level in the 87th minute after Ndumiso Mabena was played through into the Zamalek box, but his shot was blocked by Tolba.The visitors did not do enough to get an equalizer afterwards, as the Egyptian side held on to their 2-1 lead which was their first win in the Caf Champions League group stages.