Orlando Pirates 2-2 FC Platinum

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – FC Platinum finally found their shooting boots in the 2019 CAF Champions League, but they threw away a two-goal lead to draw with Orlando Pirates at Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

Norman Mapeza’s men had not found the net in five outings, and they must have feared the worst when Never Tigere had his penalty saved by Wayne Sandilands after defender Caio da Silva handled the ball inside the box on 19 minutes.

The visitors put the early setback behind them, however, and capitalised on more poor defending by the hosts. Tigere atoned for his miss nine minutes later after he found himself with acres of space before drilling a low shot which took a deflection off Alfred Ndengane and past a despairing Silva.

Ndengane, who was having a nightmare, was again guilty in Platinum’s second goal in the 37th minute, allowing Perfect Chikwende to come between him and Sandilands inside the area. The attacker poked the ball to Rainsome Paviri for an easy tap in into an empty net.

Pirates did try to rally back in the second half, but their half-hearted attempts were not enough to defeat Platinum who also added time-wasting tactics to crush the home team’s momentum.

Goals by Thembinkosi Lorch in the 81st minute and Augustine Mulenga in the 87th minute denied Platinum a famous win, but kept Pirates in with a chance to go through with qualified Esperance of Tunisia, who accounted for Horoya SC of Guinea 2-0 on Saturday in the other Group B match.

Pirates trail Horoya by a point and need a win in Conakry in their final match next Saturday to qualify for the quarter finals.