Orlando Pirates 3-1 TP Mazembe: Mbesuma strikes late on

Collins Mbesuma's late penalty strike gave Orlando Pirates a 3-1 lead in their Caf Champions League tie against TP Mazembe

Orlando Pirates defeated DR Congo giants TP Mazembe 3-1 in the first leg of their Caf Champions League tie on Saturday night at the Orlando Stadium.

A largely second-string Pirates outfit took an early lead via a first-minute Onyekachi Okonkwo goal, but his strike was cancelled out by Paotu Kabangu in the 44th minute.

Pirates failed to finish a myriad opportunities during the match, but Collins Mbesuma was able to score in the 55th minute to regain the Buccaneers lead.  

In the final minutes of the game TP Mazembe goalkeeper Kidiaba brought down Mbesuma in the box, with a penalty the result. The Zambian international stepped up to net his second goal of the game and give his side a vital two goal lead in their Caf Champions League tie.

Played in cold conditions at the Orlando Stadium, Pirates made a perfect start to the tie with Onyekachi Okonkwo netting a sublime strike which curled into the top right corner of the net with merely one minute on the clock.  

Collins Mbesuma should have doubled the lead in the 10th minute when he surged forward free on goal, but his low shot was well-saved by Kidiaba.

The DR Congo champions had to make an early substitution when Eric Nkulukuta’s injury saw him replaced by Herve Ndonga in the 28th minute.

As the first half continued, TP Mazembe’s defence continued to look fragile under pressure as Pirates piled forward in numbers, seeking to build on their early lead. In the 35th minute Gcaba forced a brave block from Kidiaba who looked vulnerable under the high ball throughout proceedings.  

But with their first real chance, Mazembe struck through Patou Kabangu in the 44th minute. Kabangu finished a clinical move from Mazembe with a calm shot from close range, after receiving the ball right in front of goal.

With the visitors holding a vital away goal, Pirates came out in the second stanza with intent to find the lead once more.

Tlou Segolela utilised his pace to burst down the right flank, but his tantalising cross was well-defended by TP Mazembe.

Ten minutes after the second half commenced Collins Mbesuma pounced on an opportunity to regain Pirates lead. Masuku’s mis-kick fell into the Zambian’s path and he finished deftly past Kidiaba to make the score 2-1 in the Buccaneer’s favour.

Kabangu came close to stealing an equaliser in the 83rd minute, but his low drive was straight at Senzo Meyiwa.

When the game looked destined to end 2-1, Pirates were awarded a 92nd minute penalty when Collins Mbesuma was brought down by Kidiaba. Mbesuma buried the penalty-kick to give the home side a vital two goal lead in the tie.