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Pirates' CAFCL halfway mark report

Halfway through Orlando Pirates’ CAF Champions League group campaign, KickOff.com looks at how the Buccaneers have fared on their return to the competition for the first time since 2013.

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The Soweto giants, who are on top of Group B, have collected four points out of a possible six on home soil. While this is not a bad return, they will feel that they could have done much better to get maximum points against defending champions Esperance over the weekend. A win for the Buccaneers would have put them in a much better position going into the second half of the group stage campaign. Now they’ve got one more home match, which means they’ll have to grind positive results when they visit Esperance and Horoya in their remaining away matches. The Buccaneers have done well to keep clean sheets at home and have a good chance of making it three in a row when they host Zimbabwean side FC Platinum in March.

Away

The Buccaneers opened their group campaign with a match away from home to FC Platinum at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. They managed to get a point on the road, but would probably feel they missed out on securing three points against Platinum who were beaten 1-0 by Horoya at the same venue this past weekend. They will, however, be satisfied with the fact that they have not conceded on the road, giving them confidence going forward. They would not want to go into their final group match against Horoya in Conakry needing to win at all costs to progress, so they have to do as much as possible to collect points against Esperance next weekend away from home and again when they host FC Platinum in March.

Star performers

Alfred Ndengane

The former Bloemfontein Celtic defender has been immense at the back, helping the Buccaneers to three straight clean sheets in the competition. He has played in all the side’s group matches and will be key for the remaining three matches, to stop some of the big men who play in the Champions League. 

The former Bloemfontein Celtic defender has been immense at the back, helping the Buccaneers to three straight clean sheets in the competition. He has played in all the side’s group matches and will be key for the remaining three matches, to stop some of the big men who play in the Champions League. 

Thembinkosi Lorch

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