An early goal from Mabena secured a vital 1-0 win for the Buccaneers in Lusaka
Ndumiso Mabena opened the scoring for Pirates in front of a sell-out crowd at the Nkoloma Stadium, securing a significant away goal for the visitors. Mabena's strike turned out to be the winner as Pirates defended the lead against a profligate Zanaco outfit.
Pirates’ continental quest continued in Lusaka against the Zambian champions with an early strike from Mabena, whose header was diverted into the back of the net off a Zanaco FC defender after the striker latched onto a corner kick provided by Daine Klate.
The Buccaneers looked menacing in attack as the tie unfolded, utilising their pace down the flanks and exposing the defensive frailties of their opponents.
Zanaco did not lie down in the wake of Pirates pressure and was able to create some of their own attacking moves as the first half continued, with Davies Mwape breaking free in the box and firing in a powerful drive which forced Senzo Meyiwa into a save.
The hosts grew in confidence but were unable to find the equaliser before half-time as Pirates took their vital lead into the break.
Zanaco came out firing in the second half, but Pirates was able to weather the early storm and claim the first chance of the half as Collins Mbesuma sent a weighted cross looping just over the crossbar with a free header.
The Buccaneers dominance was not rewarded and the Zambian champions almost punished the visitors on numerous occasions, but could not produce the necessary composure in front of goal.
The combination of Mbesuma and Segolela almost secured a second goal for Pirates, as the striker released Segolela with an incisive pass but the winger could only hit his shot into the path of a Zanaco defender.
Pirates was able to close out the result and will take a 1-0 goal lead into the second leg of the CAF Champions League tie, with Roger de Sa’s promise for an onslaught on Africa slowly becoming a reality.