Jwaneng Galaxy 0-3 Orlando Pirates: Bucs grab first-leg advantage in Caf Confederation Cup
Thulani Hlatshwayo, Orlando Pirates, November 2020
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The Soweto giants put one foot in the group stage after recording a comfortable victory at Botswana's National Stadium

Orlando Pirates proved too strong for Jwaneng Galaxy as they claimed a 3-0 win in the Caf Confederation Cup play-off round first-leg match in Gaborone on Sunday afternoon.

Thulani Hlatshwayo opened the scoring with a header in the first half and two second-half goals from Linda Mntambo and Jean-Marc Mundele sealed the Buccaneers' comfortable victory. 

The Buccaneers were determined to grab a first-leg advantage after recording their second win in a row when they brushed aside Cape Town City 2-0 in a PSL match on Tuesday. 

Coach Josef Zinnbauer made two changes to the team which faced City as Mntambo and Terrence Dzvukamanja made their return to the Bucs starting line-up.

Meanwhile, Galaxy were playing their first competitive match since they lost 3-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns in the Caf Champions League first-round second-leg match in Pretoria on January 5.

Ex-TS Galaxy duo of Ezekiel Morake and Thero Setsile started for Oris Radipotsane's side, while Lebogang Ditsele, who was once on the books of the now-defunct Highlands Park, was deployed in midfield.

Galaxy were under pressure from the first whistle with Pirates launching attacks with the Soweto giants looking to grab an early goal, but they were denied by Morake, who was in top form between the sticks for the hosts.

Morake pulled off a magnificent finger-tipping save from Vincent Pule's long-range shot and he produced a breathtaking double save as parrying away Happy Jele's header, before denying Dzvukamanja from close range.

The Buccaneers kept probing for the opening goal and Morake pushed away Deon Hotto's curling free-kick which was heading for the near-post and he also gathered Fortune Makaringe's long-range shot. 

Pirates' pressure finally paid off in the 32nd minute when Hotto's quality corner-kick was headed home by an unmarked Hlatshwayo to make it 1-0 to the visitors with Galaxy ball watching at the back. 

Galaxy tried to respond with a goal, but Junior Dion was brilliantly denied by goalkeeper Richard Ofori, who ensured that the first-half ended with Pirates leading 1-0.

Bucs pushed for another away goal after the restart, but they could not keep their shots on target with Paseka Mako and Hotto placing their attempts over Morake's goal-posts.

Galaxy coach Radipotsane decided to introduce former Pirates midfielder Ricardo Lourenco just after the hour-mark as the Botswana champions searched for the equalizing goal.

Zinnbauer then refreshed his attack as he brought on attackers Mundele and Kabelo Dlamini and the Buccaneers continued to launch attacks toward the end of the game.

Pirates doubled their lead through Mntambo, who was afforded time and space on the edge of the Galaxy box in the 77th minute and he scored with a powerful shot after being set-up by Mako.

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The Galaxy defence was then bullied by Mundele, who fought for an aerial ball in the box with 11 minutes left before firing past Morake with a volleyed effort to make it 3-0 to Pirates.

The visitors were running riot and they could have scored more goals, but Morake pulled off fantastic saves to deny Mntambo and Siphesihle Ndlovu - ensuring that the match ended 3-0 to Pirates.

The two teams will meet again in the second-leg encounter at Orlando Stadium on February 21 and the winner on aggregate will advance to the group stage.