Caf Confederation Cup: Al Ahli Benghazi 0-0 Orlando Pirates - Unlucky Buccaneers held in Libya

Ben Motshwari, Orlando Pirates, October 2020
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Bucs were simply unlucky in an encounter which saw Josef Zinnbauer's side hit the woodwork twice in the second-half

Orlando Pirates were left to rue their missed chances after drawing 0-0 with Al Ahli Benghazi in the Caf Confederation Cup Group A match at Martyrs of February Stadium on Sunday night.

The Buccaneers were determined to record a win which would take them to the top of the group standings and also return to winning ways after losing 2-1 to Kaizer Chiefs on March 21.

Coach Josef Zinnbauer recalled Wayne Sandilands, Fortune Makaringe, Terrence Dzvukamanja and Frank Mhango to the starting line-up as he made four changes to the team which faced Chiefs. 

On the other hand, the Butchers were looking to make it two wins in a row in the group stage having edged out ES Setif 1-0 in their last competitive match on March 17.

Libya international Murad Al-Wuheeshi started in goal, while Jibreel Alwadawi, who scored against Setifi, led the attack as coach Dejan Arsov looked to mastermind a win over Pirates. 

Pirates started slowly and this allowed Al Ahli to push forward in numbers and they threatened first when Alwadawi forced goalkeeper Sandilands into a fine save.

The Buccaneers grew into the match and Mhango began tormenting the Butchers' defence with his blistering runs and he was also sharing free-kick responsibility with Vincent Pule. 

Mhango was denied twice by Al-Wuheeshi from set-pieces with the Al Ahli shot-stopper well-positioned to make a save on both occasions with the hosts committing a lot of fouls near their box. 

Al-Wuheeshi also pushed away a shot from Pule, who was looking to score from a set-piece as Pirates applied some pressure on Al Ahli with the half-time break approaching.

The score was 0-0 at the interval following a first-half which saw Pirates start slowly before growing in confidence as the game progressed, but they could not take their chances from their set-pieces.

Pirates began the second-half brightly and they were unlucky not to open the scoring when Ben Motshwari's long-range shot beat Al-Wuheeshi, but the crossbar came to the hosts' rescue.

Zinnbauer introduced Tshegofatso Mabasa just after the hour-mark and the bulky centre forward tried to make an immediate impact when he forced by Al-Wuheeshi into a decent save with a header.

The visitors kept pushing for the opening goal with Mhango being superbly denied by Al-Wuheeshi, who was proving to be a big obstacle for the Buccaneers on the night.

Al Ahli then pushed for a late winning goal, but Sandilands pulled off two good saves to deny Mohamed Fathe and Alwadawi, but the last chance of the game fell for Mhango in stoppage time. 

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The Malawi international's well-taken shot beat Al-Wuheeshi, but once again the Soweto giants were denied by the woodwork and ultimately, the encounter ended in a 0-0 draw. 

The result saw Pirates remain second on the group standings - a point behind leaders Enyimba with three matches left as the battle to reach the quarter-finals continues. 

Pirates will now host Al Ahli on April 11, while Nigerian giants Enyimba will be away to Algerian side ES Setif on the same day. 

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