Buccaneers through to final

2015-10-07 06:00

JOHANNESBURG. – Orlando Pirates advanced to the CAF Confederation Cup final after beating Al Ahly by 4-3 in the second-leg semi-final played at the Suez Stadium in Egypt on Sunday evening (04/10).

Goals from Kermit Erasmus, Thamsanqa Gabuza, Thabo Matlaba and Thabo Rakhale completed a come-from-behind win for Pirates.

John Antwi of Al Ahly had the first chance at goal in the eighth minute when he found space and unleashed an effort from 25 yards out, but Felipe Ovono collected comfortably.

Malick Evouna enjoyed a free header from a corner in the 22nd minute, but Pirates were relieved to see his effort sail wide of the target.

The Bucs had their first real opportunity when the ball fell kindly for Sifiso Myeni outside the Ahly box, but the midfielder was unable to trouble Sherif Ekrami.

Al Ahly finally opened the scoring in the 43rd minute, after a sublime lobbed pass from Abdullah El-Said had found Evouna, who beat the on-rushing Ovono, to take a 1-0 advantage into the break.

Eight minutes after the half-time break, Evouna doubled the home side’s lead with another headed effort after a 3-on-1 counter-atttack.

Orlando Pirates coach, Eric Tinkler, made a double substitution, bringing on Kermit Erasmus and Thabo Rakhale in the place of Lehlohonolo Majoro and Myeni.

Erasmus quickly pulled one back in the 57th minute after Rakhale’s cross had been cleared towards the striker, who sent his curling effort over a crowd of Ahly players and into the back of the net.

Pirates were buoyed by the away-goal and managed to level matters in the 75th minute after Gabuza’s shot had taken a wicked deflection to beat Ekrami.

Thabo Matlaba’s great persistence in the 86th minute paid off, as the defender won the ball outside the Ahly area and sent his low shot into the back of the net.

Al Ahly pulled one back after Ovono had done well to stop a goal-bound header, but substitute Amr Gamal was on hand to make it 3-3 in stoppage time.

Thabo Rakhale completed the points as he collected a pass from Mpho Makola before he fired beyond the Ahly keeper in the final minute of stoppage time.

Pirates advance to the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup final with a 5-3 aggregate win, and will face Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel in a two-legged tie in November. – KickOff.com

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