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Diables Noirs v Orlando Pirates Match Report, 15/10/2021

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Stade Alphonse Massamba-Débat
Diables Noirs 0-0 Orlando Pirates: Bucs held away in Caf Confederation Cup
18:10 BST 15/10/2021
Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates, September 2021
The South Africans had to be at their best to deny the hosts and walked away with a clean sheet ahead of the second leg

Orlando Pirates have been held to a goalless draw by Diables Noirs in the first leg of the first round of the Caf Confederation Cup at Alphonse Massamba-Debat Stadium on Friday evening. 

The Soweto heavyweights opted to start a seemingly defensive side in a bid to ensure they do not concede away to the Congolese outfit.

It was the hosts who started the match on a high, pushing for an opener through Hardy Binguila and Grace Djimbi, who ensured the likes of debutant Kwanda Mngonyama and Sam Bongani stayed alert to stop the attacks.

The former had to make a last-ditch tackle to deny Carl Wunda who had been cleverly played into the danger zone.

Bucs had a chance of their own after Kabelo Dlamini, who had been played in by Abel Mabaso, was fouled and the referee awarded them a free-kick. But the latter failed to make use of the chance and the ball eventually went out for a goal-kick.

As time went by, Pirates settled and could have grabbed a lead late in the first half when Mngonyama found Sam Bongani in the danger zone but the ball was deflected out for a corner, which led to nothing.

The best chance for either side in the first 45 minutes fell to Tshegofatso Mabasa, but despite being one-on-one with Giscard Mavoungou, he could not find the back of the net.

In the second half, Bucs had a scare when Happy Jele was hit on the head in his bid to clear the ball. But he was cleared to continue much to the relief of the technical bench.

The centre-back had played a vital role in ensuring his team did not concede in the first half and it would have been a major blow to see him leave.

Diable Noirs resorted to physical play and it worked to an extent since they managed to pin Pirates in their own half. It forced the Pirates bench to change tactics and Thabang Monare was introduced in place of Kabelo Dlamini.

But moments later, it was Siyabonga Mpontshane who had to be alert to stop Jeremie Mumbere from scoring.

Good counter-attack ended with Pirates getting a free-kick after the hour-mark and Monare managed to find Mabasa whose header narrowly missed the target.

A melee in the Pirates danger zone, with 20 minutes to go, ended with the ball hitting the upright but went out for a goal kick.

Despite the many chances created by both teams, neither managed to get the ball in the back of the net.

The second leg will be played on October 24 at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg.

Diables Noirs XI: Giscard Mavoungou, Francis Nzaba, Carof Bakoua, Chikito Kwenge, Hernest Malonga, Tejio Lutonadio, Jeremie Mumbere, Hardy Binguila, Lorrys Nkolo, Grace Djimbi, Carl Wunda

Orlando Pirates XI: Siyabonga Mpontshane, Kwanda Mngonyama, Paseka Mako, Happy Jele, Sam Bongani, Abel Mabaso, Siphesihle Ndlovu, Fortune Makaringe, Kabelo Dlamini, Bandile Shandu, Tshegofatso Mabasa