Orlando Pirates had it tough in their first game of this seasons Caf Confederation Cup, as they played to a goalless draw against Diables Noirs in the first leg of a group stage qualifier at Stade Alphonse Massemba –Debat in Brazzaville on Friday.
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The Soweto giants started the game by giving new signing Kwanda Mngonyama his debut, with the defender pairing with skipper Happy Jele at centre back. This was another change in Bucs’ centre backs as caretaker coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids have also tried out Nigerian Olisa Ndah with Jele.
The home side looked to be in control of the game from the opening minutes of the match, with Bandile Shandu working overtime on the right side.
Diables had a chance to get the first goal of the tie after making their way into the Pirates box, but Mngonyama was there to make a very important clearance.
The Buccaneers started to build their momentum, with some nice play by Abel Mabaso saw him putting Kabelo Dlamini on attack, but Diables defenders were quick to stop him.
The Black Devils soon continued to put more pressure on Pirates, with the likes of Jele and Mngonyama working tirelessly at the back.
Mabasa was in action once again after finding himself one on one with the keeper, but the Black Devils shot-stopper was able to make a clearance as the game went into the break with sides tied at 0-0.
The second half began with the hosts continuing to put pressure on the away side, and it ended up seeing Jele almost sustaining a serious injury after the skipper tried to clear the ball with his header, only to get kicked on the head by a Diables forward, but he was back quickly after play was stopped.
The game seemed to have a lot of set-pieces with tackles from both ends in search of the opening goal.
The two teams went on to create half chances, but they weren’t able to find the back of the net, as they went on to share the spoils.