Orlando Pirates are one foot into the final of the Caf Confederation Cup after they cruised past Al Ahli Tripoli with a 2-0 victory in the first leg of the semi-finals played at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Libya on Sunday.
The Buccaneers had their ship on cruise control from the onset, as they scored two goals in the first half. Tripoli barely created clear-cut goal scoring chances, especially in the first half with striker Anas Saltou being closely monitored by the Bucs rearguard.
Pirates got a dream start into the game as they managed to score within just eight minutes into the match courtesy of an Innocent Maela header. The goal boosted the Buccaneer’s confidence and they looked very comfortable on the ball.
Pirates’ play included high pressing and it led the Soweto giants to their second goal of the match after Kwame Peprah’s cross found an unmarked Goodman Mosele inside the box and the midfielder rattled the ball into the back of the net just before the half-hour mark.
Pirates could have easily went into the break with three goals up, but Bandile Shandu and Hotto failed to capitalise.
Tripoli were expected to come out with guns blazing in the second half. Mohammad Abuzraiq played a dangerous through ball in the 55th minute looking for Saltou, but Pirates were able to deal with the danger.
Towards the hour mark, Hotto was presented with a good opportunity to extend the lead, but his attempt was saved by captain Mohamed Nashnush.
The home side started to enjoy more ball possession as they were looking for a goal. But, a resolute Pirates defence couldn’t let them go past keeper Richard Ofori.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, twice the lights went off at the stadium forcing the match to be paused momentarily, before resuming minutes later. But, there was nothing much the Libyans could do with the remaining minutes as Bucs went on to claim the victory.
The teams are set to meet again for the return leg on the 15th of May at the Orlando Stadium.