Meyiwa saves the day for Pirates

2013-05-06 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa saved two penalties yesterday as 10-man Orlando Pirates held on to qualify for the CAF Champions League group phase.

The South African club lost 1-0 away to TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in a clash of former title-holders, but squeezed into the last eight 3-2 on aggregate.

Also through are Zamalek of Egypt, AC Leopards of Congo, Sewe San Pedro of Ivory Coast, Esperance of Tunisia, Recreativo Libolo of Angola and Coton Sport of Cameroon.

Defending champions Al-Ahly of Egypt or CA Bizertin of Tunisia, who were set to clash later yesterday in Cairo behind closed doors for security reasons, will complete the line-up for the six-round mini-league stage.

Meyiwa, who forced his way into Pirates’ starting line-up last season after many years as an understudy, stopped spot kicks from Eric Bokanga on 50 minutes and Tresor Mputu two minutes from time.

But he was helpless to prevent Jean Kasusula scoring after 72 minutes to set up a tense climax in the southern Congolese mining city Lubumbashi as the Bucs repulsed continuous attacks.

The only South African winners of the premier CAF club competition were reduced to 10 men late in the opening half when veteran centre-back Lucky Lekgwathi received a straight red card.

Overall success was a massive relief for coach and former South Africa goalkeeper Roger de Sa, who has come under fire from supporters after woeful domestic league form. — Sapa-AFP.

• SABC reported yesterday that the match could not be broadcast live on SABC 1, as minutes before kick-off an SABC camera crew was chased out of the stadium. The agreement giving SABC Sport a live feed was apparently ignored.

The match was alleged to be under lockdown and SABC crew members were reportly arrested. Details were not forthcoming.

Late last night it was reported that Orlando Pirates left Lumbumbashi for South Africa immediately.

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