Bundled out - Bucs CAF dream up in smoke
GREAT expectations burst like a over-inflated balloon for South Africans as Orlando Pirates had their CAF Champions League shattered in Angola yesterday.
A crusade for the second "Star" on a 75-year-old Buccaneers jersey stopped dead after the Soweto giants failed to turn around a 3-1 deficit after playing to a 1-all draw against Recreativo de Libolo in Cacula, Angola.
Pirates' lion-hearted attacks against Recreativo De Libolo yesterday was not enough to come back from a 3-1 first leg defeat.
The match ended 1-1 and the 4-2 aggregate score means that Pirates embarrassingly bowed out of the African Champions League in the first round.
De Libolo had put themselves in the drivers's seat when they caught the Buccaneers with their pants down in the first leg played in Port Elizabeth two weeks ago.
The early upsetting exit will infuriate Pirates boss Irvin Khoza who has invested so much for this African safari. Pirates' main focus this season was to emulate the Class of 1995 that lifted the trophy against all odds.
Pirates struggled to settle down with their opposition out-muscling them and defending solidly. Pirates resorted to speculative long rage efforts that did not threaten the Angolans.
The home side almost ended all hope the South Africans harboured when they opened the scoring in the 32nd minute through Maieco Herique header from a corner kick.
Pirates did not drop their chins and Andile Jali's equaliser on the stroke half-time gave them a glimpse of hope. The side had the Angolans against the ropes the entire second half but goals eluded them.
Tlou Segolela and substitute Benni McCarthy came close to scoring but it was not be.
Pirates' early exit, however, says a lot about the standard of football in the country, as has been reflected on the national teams short-comings the continental tournaments.
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