Orlando Pirates recorded their second defeat in this season’s Caf Confederation Cup when they lost 1-0 to Simba in the quarter-final first-leg match on Sunday evening.
Ofori was the busier of the two keepers after the restart with the Reds of Msimbazi pushing for the opening goal. Crispin Mugalu unleashed a low shot which was well-saved by Ofori and the Ghana international blocked an attempt from Morrison, who was keen to haunt his former employers.
Deon Hotto, who was one of the Buccaneers’ better players on the night, will now miss the second-leg match after being booked in East Africa
Innocent Maela filled the void left by the injured Paseka Mako in the starting line-up as Pirates co-coaches Mandla Ncilazi and Fadlu Davids made one change to the team which drew 0-0 with Baroka FC in a PSL encounter on Tuesday. The Buccaneers were looking to secure an important away win in East Africa.
On the other hand, former Pirates forward Bernard Morrison and Peter Banda, who spent some time with Bucs on trial in 2018, were both named in the Simba starting line-up. The Reds of Msimbazi were hoping to claim a home win over another Soweto giant having defeated Pirates’ arch-rivals, Kaizer Chiefs 3-0 in last season’s Caf Champions League.
Pirates and Simba weighed each other up in the opening 15 minutes of the game with both sides creating half chances as Pape Ousmane Sacko placed his shot over the crossbar after bursting into the visitors’ box. At the other end, Kwame Peprah made a strong run before sending his shot wide of the target.
Deon Hotto’s curling cross which was heading for the top left corner was fumbled by Aishi Manula, but the goalkeeper recovered well and snatched the ball before Peprah could pounce and score. The Reds Msimbazi were not prepared to sit back and allowed the Buccaneers to control the game and pile pressure on them.
Simba were then awarded a penalty after Happy Jele was adjudged to have fouled the troublesome Morrison in the visitors’ box even though the Pirates captain looked to have made contact with the ball first. Shomari Kampobe then stepped up and made no mistake from the spot-kick as he beat Ofori, who went the wrong way to make it 1-0 to Simba in the 68th-minute.
The best chance of the first half fell for Morrison after he outmuscled his marker inside the Pirates box and he had space and time to unleash a powerful shot. However, keeper Richard Ofori produced a magnificent one-handed save to deny the Ghanaian attacker to ensure that the first half ended with the score level.
Mngqithi and Davids reacted by introducing Zakhele Lepasa as the Buccaneers looked to level matters and the momentum was with the away side in the latter stages of the game. Fortune Makaringe was brilliantly denied by Manula at the near-post and the Simba shot-stopper pushed away Hotto’s curling attempt from the resultant corner-kick.
The last chance of the game fell for Bandile Shandu, who turned well on the edge of the hosts’ box and pulled the trigger, but he was denied by a diving Manula. Simba then stood firm at the back and they emerged as 1-0 winners over Pirates on the night. The two sides will now square off in the second-leg game in South Africa on April 24.
The only goal of the encounter was netted by Shomari Kampore after the Tanzanian champions were awarded a controversial penalty in the second half at National Stadium in Dar es Salaam. The defeat ended Pirates’ five-match unbeaten run across all competitions and it was also their second loss in this season’s Confederation Cup.