Orlando Pirates Unable to Withstand the Zamalek Onslaught

Orlando Pirates was unable to withstand the Zamalek onslaught on Saturday afternoon of July 11, 2015 in a second match of group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup played at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Orlando Pirates v Zamalek 2015 Confed CupThe Soweto outfit is a shining light for South Africa in CAF club competitions having made through necessary hurdles which are preliminary matches, play-offs, what-have-you- which has proven rather difficult for over South African teams including Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns.

Orlando Pirates began their group stages campaign with an away match to AC Léopards de Dolisié (AC Léopards) on June 27, 2015 at Stade Municipal Denis Sassou N’Guesso in Dolisie in the Republic of Congo where they won 1-0.

The second match against Zamalek, even though at home, was always going to be a far more difficult ask for the South Africans.

Eric Tinkler, the coach of Orlando Pirates, started with a combination of Kermit Erasmus and Thamsanqa Gabuza upfront while central defender Siyabonga Sangweni was not available to play due to a family bereavement.

The Buccaneers showed intent from early on with Thamsanqa Gabuza coming the closest when he hit the upright.

Zamalek did not sit back and watch; they gave as good as they good, continuing to threaten throughout the first half.

Perhaps the best contribution of Kermit Erasmus in the match was when he set up Sifiso Myeni in the dying minutes of the first half.

Lehlohonolo Majoro was introduced towards the 65th minute, within a few minutes he made run to finish off Sifiso Myeni’s pass and made no mistake putting Orlando Pirates in front in the 67th minute.

However the 72nd minute goal from Maarouf Yousef and the 83rd minute goal from Mustafa Fathi  did not only cancel Orlando Pirate’s lead but they also put Zamalek in front for the rest of the match.

The defeat of Orlando Pirates may not mean much in a grand scheme of things provided they beat CS Sfaxien and AC Léopards.

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