wasteful pirates held by esperance in soweto
02 Feb 2019
Ayman Ben Mohamed of Esperance challenged by Asavela Mbekile of Orlando Pirates during the CAF Champions League match between Orlando Pirates and Esperance 02 February 2019 at Orlando Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix
Orlando Pirates drew 0-0 with Esperance de Tunis in the 2018/19 CAF Champions League Group B match at the Orlando Stadium in South Africa on Saturday.
As a result, South Africa's Pirates remain at the top of the group table, while Tunisian giants Esperance also remained second on the standings.
The Buccaneers threatened first through their Zambian striker Justin Shonga just 10 minutes into the encounter.
Shonga, who had netted twice against Guinea's Horoya AC in a Group B clash last month, saw his effort narrowly miss the target.
Thembinkosi Lorch was causing havoc for the Blood and Gold defence which was led by Chamseddine Dhaouadi.
The visitors, who had in-form striker Taha Yassine Khenissi in their attack, pushed for the opening goal with the half-time break approaching.
However, Pirates stood firm at the back until Ethiopian match referee Tessema Weyesa Bamlak blew the half-time whistle.
Pirates and Esperance were locked at 0-0 during the half-time break.
The Buccaneers were the better side after the restart and they came close to scoring through Vincent Pule.
The attacking midfielder's long-range shot went close as the 1995 Champions League winners searched for the opening goal.
Esperance goalkeeper Rami Jeridi was called into action just after the hour-mark as the Buccaneers pressed the visitors.
The shot-stopper palmed a shot back across goal towards the onrushing Pule, but the visitors managed to clear their lines.
Pirates pressed Esperance in the closing stages of the game, but three-time Champions League winners looked solid and impenetrable at the back.
Ultimately, the encounter ended in a 0-0 draw with Esperance having frustrated Pirates on the night.
Pirates: Mabokgwane, Jele, Ndengane, Mbekile, Maela, Mlambo, Nyatama, Mako, Pule (Mulenga 70'), Lorch (Gabuza 90'), Shonga (Mahachi 89').
Esperance: Jridi, Derbali (Meskini 77'), Yacoubi, Dhaouadi, Kom, Ben Mohamed, Coulibaly, Belaïli (Meziani 70'), Badri, Khenissi (Jouini 87'), Chalali.