Jean-Marc Mundele (Gallo Images)
Orlando Pirates put themselves firmly in
the driver’s seat after claiming a 3-0 win against Jwaneng Galaxy in the first leg of their
CAF Confederation Cup group stage playoff clash.
Thulani Hlatshwayo’s first-half header saw
the Buccaneers go into half-time with a one-goal lead, before two late goals
from Linda Mntambo and Jean-Marc Mundele put the result beyond question.
Mntambo was given a rare start by coach
Josef Zinnbauer, while Terrence Dzvukamanja joined him up front after being on
the bench for Tuesday’s PSL win over Cape Town City.
It did not take the visitors long to start
putting pressure on the Galaxy defence, with goalkeeper Ezekiel Morake forced
into action twice in the early exchanges after close-range efforts from
Dzvukamanja and Happy Jele.
Not long after, Morake had to be alert once
more as a shot came flying in from Vincent Pule, while the shot-stopper was
called into action again to save an effort from Fortune Makaringe after the
midfielder cut through a few Galaxy defenders.
It seemed only a matter of time before the
Bucs would find a breakthrough, and the goal finally arrived just after the
half-hour mark when Deon Hotto produced a well-flighted corner kick to find
Thulani Hlatshwayo, who made no mistake with his header to put Pirates 1-0 up.
The Bucs quickly picked up where they left
off in the second half, but despite another dominant showing they had to wait
until the final 10 minutes before wrapping up the result.
Seven minutes from time, Mntambo paid back
his coach’s confidence by latching onto a pass from Paseka Mako and firing a
low shot past Morake in the Galaxy goal to make it 2-0.
Having broken the home side’s resolve,
there was time for one more goal.
Mundele, who had come on as a second-half
substitute, turned and shot from inside the area to pick up his first goal for
Pirates and make absolutely certain of the victory.
– TEAMtalk media