Djabal vs Orlando Pirates – Red-hot Lepasa saves Buccaneers blushes in Comoros

Djabal vs Orlando Pirates – Red-hot Lepasa saves Buccaneers blushes in Comoros
Credit: Icon Sport

The first leg of the Djabal vs Orlando Pirates clash in the CAF Champions League first preliminary round was a cracker of a game.

It was characterised by wasteful attackers on both teams, however, until Orlando Pirates' Zakhele Lepasa struck late in the game to give the South African club the win over their Comoran counterparts. It continued a streak of winless runs for Djabal against the South African giants.

Read on to learn how the first leg of the CAF Champions League first preliminary round clash of Djabal vs Orlando Pirates at Stade De Moroni in Moroni, Comoros, went.

Level at half-time

Orlando Pirates were in action during the week in the South Africa PSL against Chippa United and for the Djabal vs Orlando Pirates match, Spanish coach JosΓ© Riveiro made some changes to the Buccaneers side that faced Djabal.

He handed season debuts to four players: goalkeeper Richard Ofori, defender Innocent Maela, defender Sandile Mthethwa and forward Bienvenu Eva Nga. All four players were great in the game but halftime would end goalless for the visitors.

They hoped to relive the moment of the 4-0 win in 2013 at Djabal in the CAF Champions League but they faced a stiff Comoran side.

Pirates enjoyed more of the ball but had only one shot on target in the first 20 minutes, courtesy of Monnapule Saleng. They continued to waste their opportunities and the fans were outraged by clear misses from Eva Nga and Deon Hotto Kavendji just before halftime.

Djabal vs Orlando Pirates concludes with a late goal

Riveiro would suffer the same anxiety for most of the second half: watch his team dominate possession while wasting chances and conceding turnovers that would leave their defence scrambling for safety.

He switched gears in the 64th minute to bring on Katlego Otladisa for Hotto Kavendji and eventual goal scorer Lepasa for Eva Nga.

Red-hot Lepasa got to work, looking for his sixth goal of the season but his first effort which came only a minute after his introduction was blocked by the Djabal defenders.

Lepasa's introduction seemed to wake up Djabal and the fans who bought tickets to the Djabal vs Orlando Pirates game were kept on their toes for the rest of the game.

Both sides traded blows and defensive actions until Lepasa struck six minutes from time for his sixth of the season. That would prove to be the winning goal, setting the mood for a tense return leg in South Africa.

What next for Buccaneers after Djabal vs Orlando Pirates?

JosΓ© Riveiro will be drained after a match that took a lot out of him mentally and tactically but he will now turn his attention to preparing for the second leg of Djabal vs Orlando Pirates. This is because their DSTv Premiership (South Africa PSL) fixture against Moroka Swallows has been postponed.

Riveiro will look to make the Orlando Stadium unfriendly for the Comorans, just as they made Stade De Moroni unfriendly for him. The streak against Djabal is still there to be maintained. That match will hold on Friday 25 August 2023.

After that, the Buccaneers will turn their attention to Cape Town City in the PSL, who they will face on Tuesday 29 August 2023.

This article was most recently revised and updated 8 months ago

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