JOHANNESBURG — South African football side Orlando Pirates went three points clear at the top of Caf Champions League Group A with a 4-1 win over Zamalek on Saturday at the Orlando Stadium.
Goals from Lennox Bacela, Tlou Segolela, Sifiso Myeni, and Daine Klate were enough to secure victory for Pirates and maintain their unbeaten start to the continental tournament after three matches played.
The sides went into the break at one goal apiece, but the Buccaneers came out inspired and produced a ruthless performance seldom witnessed from a South African side in the African competition.
In the seventh minute, Pirates had their first chance from a set-piece. A Klate free-kick from close to the touchline found Bacela, who rose to meet the ball but his header was wide from close range.
Six minutes later, the hosts spurned another opportunity. Klate crossed the ball for Bacela, who set-up Happy Jele but his shot was saved by Zamalek ‘keeper Mahmoud Rehim.
The best chance of the early exchanges came from a rare Zamalek attack in the 15th minute. A quick turn and long-range shot from Omar Gaber forced a diving save from Senzo Meyiwa in the Bucs goal.
Pirates, though, took the lead in the 27th minute. Klate made a diagonal run and his pass for Bacela was behind Zamalek defender Salah Ebrahim, with the Pirates forward having showed good strength with his turn to firing his side in front.
The advantage, however, was short-lived as Pirates conceded two minutes later. Mahmoud Fadlallah was given a free run into the box and had no problem finding the back of the net to level matters.
Shortly after the shock of conceding, Segolela snatched up a loose ball in the Zamalek goal and drove a low shot at Rehim, but the ‘keeper had the attempt covered.
On the 33rd-minute mark, Klate tried his luck from the edge of the area and forced another good save from Rehim.
Moments before the interval, Oupa Manyisa also had a go from range with a fierce strike, but the ball drifted just wide of the left post. Pirates went ahead again in the 52nd minute. A blistering run from Bacela released Segolela into the box, and his toe-punt rocketed into the top-left corner of goal to make it 2-1 to Pirates.
The Sea Robbers drew further ahead with a majestic flowing team move in the 74th minute. From a clearance, Thabo Matlaba received the ball on the left touchline, and passed to Klate in the middle.