Orlando Pirates maintained an unbeaten run in the CAF Confederation Cup with a 2-1 win over Enyimba of Nigeria in their first group stage clash at the wet Orlando Stadium on Wednesday.
The win moved the Buccaneers to the top of Group A with four points from two matches. The team will look forward to solidifying their position with another win in the next match against Al Ahly Benghazi of Libya next month.
Pirates had to wait till extra time to secure the win with a header by striker Tshegofatso Mabasa who made up for an earlier mistake of missing from the penalty spot.
Pirates took the lead after 26 minutes when Deon Hotto, a Namibian international, sneaked the ball into the net with a clever back-heel finish from a poor clearance from the Enyimba defenders.
For the Buccaneers, the opening goal was a timely reward as they have been pressing on Enyimba with several attempts coming from the likes of Linda Mntambo, Vincent Pule, Hotto and Fortune Makaringe.
Enyimba reacted quickly a few minutes by breaching the Pirates with a quick counter-attack that ended with Iwula Emmanuel in the box but was denied by alert Siyabonga Mpontshane between the poles.
But they kept on pressing and were rewarded with a penalty before the halftime whistle, which skipper Oladapo Tunde converted from the spot. The skipper showed nerves of steel to send Mpontshane the wrong way.
Referee Ngwa Blaise Yuven pointed to the spot Emanuel was brought down in the box by Mpontshane.
In the second half of the game, the action continued and the pirates kept on pressing to score and at 55minutes, Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble had to stretch at full length to deny Pule who unleashed a powerful pile driver from the edge of the box after he received a pass from Ben Motshwari.
Mabasa and Innocent Maela continued to press forward looking to increase the teams lead threatening Noble through a series of efforts.
The host won a penalty at 76 minutes when Gabadinho Mhango was brought down in the box by Ogbonnaya Nelson but Mabasa put his penalty kick over the crossbar.
However, Pirates managed to secure their victory through the effort of Mabasa who headed home in the dying minutes getting their campaign back on track.