Orlando Pirates and Pyramids both picked crucial three points at home, winning their opening group matches of the 2021-22 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup season.
Pirates were 2-0 winners over Algeria’s JS Saoura while Egyptian side Pyramids, losing finalists of the 2019-20 season, came from behind to beat Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli 2-1 in Cairo/
In Johannesburg, Pirates who reached the quarter finals of last season’s tournament sought to start the match well and get their groove going to be able to get off the groups for a second consecutive season.
They got into the lead in the third minute when skipper Happy Jele pounced inside the box after the Saoura keeper spilled Thembinkosi Lorch’s shot.
Despite going down, the Algerians pushed the Bucaneers and they were denied by a brilliant save from the keeper later on. The shot stopper leaped to his left to pluck away a well measured shot from Belaid Hamidi.
In the second half, Pirates sought to command the game more and they doubled their lead in the 66th minute when defender Bandile Shandu ran in at the blind side of the defense to tap home a well weighted cross from Dean Hotto.
Pirates were more comfortable and managed the tempo of the game to their rhythm to guard the three points and move top of Group D.
Elsewere in Cairo, Pyramids continued the journey towards another continental final with a come from behind victory over the hard fighting Al Ahli Tripoli.
Mohamed Al Tubal broke the deadlock for the Libyans in the 21st minute, finishing off a pass from Mohamed El Mounir after the Pyramids backline went to sleep.
In the second half though, the home side would awake from their slumber with Walid El Karti starring with a goal and an assist. The veteran forward set up Islam Isa for the equalizer in the 56th minute as the Egyptians got back into the game.
They continued to pound and were denied twice by the post, first from El Karti and secondly from Fagry Lakay.
They fought to get the winner and they did so 12 minutes to time, this time El Karti getting on the scoresheet with a fine finish off Ibrahim Adel’s pass.
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