Sunday Apr 03, 2022. 20:18
Orlando Pirates failed to break down Al-Ittihad at the FNB Stadium on Sunday evening, although a 0-0 draw was enough to secure top spot in Group B.
The Buccaneers finished two points clear of Mohamed Kouki’s side, who also qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals in second place, just one point ahead of JS Saoura.
Pirates bossed proceedings in Johannesburg as they spent the majority of the game camped inside the opposition half.
The Libyan champions barely had a sniff at goal throughout and they came under threat as early as the third minute when Kwame Peprah steered a header over the target from a short corner.
Bandile Shandu was unable to capitalise on a defensive mistake five minutes later, dragging a left-footed shot wide of the right post from inside the box following a loose pass.
Kabelo Dlamini failed to test the visiting goalkeeper with a free-kick that cleared the crossbar from a promising position on 17 minutes and he wasted another opportunity from a dead-ball situation in the 36th minute that also missed the target.
Fortune Makaringe was presented with a good chance to break the deadlock two minutes later, but he somehow directed a header wide of the left post from Dlamini’s cross.
Bucs had nothing to show for their dominance at the break and they were almost made to pay when Mohammad Zubya forced Richard Ofori into a save with a header from a corner three minutes after the restart.
Zubya again went close for the visitors in the 72nd minute as he directed a header narrowly beyond the right post from Ghazi Ayadi’s cross.
The Soweto giants kept pushing forward in the closing stages, but Al-Ittihad held firm at the back to clinch a share of the spoils.
Orlando Pirates (0) 0
Al-Ittihad (0) 0
Orlando Pirates: R. Ofori, B. Shandu (G. Mhango 65′), N. Nyauza, H. Jele, P. Mako, B. Motshwari, A. Mabaso, F. Makaringe, B. Sam, K. Peprah (T. Lorch 65′), K. Dlamini (S. Ndlovu 78′).
Al-Ittihad: M. Allafi, M. Mhadhebi (N. Daraa 90+3′), A. Ali, S. Al Warfali, M. Sabbou, G. Ayadi, F. Ngoma, M. Eisay (A. Al Haram 82′), O. Al Khouja (A. Dagou 86′), E. Elhouni (T. Farhat 90+2′), M. Zubya (A. Al Misrati 86′).