Orlando Pirates clinched top spot in Group B despite dropping points against Al Ittihad in CAF Confederation Cup action on Sunday evening.

The suspension of Goodman Mosele forced Pirates to start Fortune Makaringe and Ben Motshwari from the win at JS Saoura and afforded full-back Bongani Sam a rare appearance too.

Pirates should’ve had the ideal start in the opening two minutes from a corner-kick by Sam, but Kwame Peprah headed the delivery over the top of target.

Ittihad were under more pressure moments thereafter as the Buccaneers continued to launch attacks from all angles none more a free-kick from Kabelo Dlamini which strayed wide.

Pirates maintained the ascendancy ten minutes before halftime when a low free-kick on the edge of the area by Dlamini narrowly shaved past the bottom corner of the net.

The Buccaneers continued to enjoy openings a little later after a dummy from Peprah following a cross from Sam saw Makaringe misdirect the supply well off the intended target.

It was a nervous start in the second half for the Buccaneers, as the captain of Ittihad Mohamed Zubya flashed a header from a corner narrowly wide.

A double substitution then from the Sea Robbers had Thembinkosi Lorch come on for Bandile Shandu and Gabadinho Mhango fitted in for Peprah before the final phase of the clash.

With the rain falling, Pirates almost had the lead in rather fortuitous circumstances when Ghazi Ayadi nearly headed into his own net towards the last ten minutes whilst clearing a delivery.

The frustrating evening for the Buccaneers continued as the clock ticked away and in the end settled for a goalless draw which ensured passage to the knockout stages for Ittihad.

Source: Kickoff