- Galaxy tasked with overturning a 3-0 deficit
- Pirates unbeaten at home this season
- Pirates’ third goal may have been a handball
BTC Premiership champions Jwaneng Galaxy started their 2021 CAF Confederation Cup playoff round tie against South African side Orlando Pirates on a bad note as they lost 3-0 in the first leg this weekend. Pirates ran out 3-0 winners after a clinical display while Ezekiel Morake stood out for Galaxy as he prevented the scoreline from being a lot more embarrassing.
Pirates started the game on the offensive and Morake was called into action a lot earlier and he made outstanding saves to keep Pirates at bay. Galaxy, on the other hand, could not build any sustain any great level of pressure for longer spells.
Galaxy’s first big chance of the game came in the 21st minute through Thero Setsile as he weaved through Pirates players before unleashing a curling left footed shot which did not trouble goalkeeper Richard Ofori.
Pirates’ spell of pressure was rewarded in the 32nd minute when Thulani Hlatshwayo connected with a Deon Hotto corner kick to head Pirates into the lead. Morake was called upon again in the second half and he stood up to the task.
Morake’s saves gave Galaxy hope of finding an equalizer but those hopes were dashed in the 77th minute when Linda Mntambo scored a long-range effort which Morake could not pick out. Pirates then added a third goal through new striker Jean Marc Mundele who slotted the ball in to put the result further beyond Galaxy.
However, Galaxy should feel hard done by as Mundele appeared to have handled the ball before he struck the ball, the ball was in the air and it hit his hand before he turned and slotted the ball home. The absence of modern technology such as Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will prove to be a problem for African teams as contentious decisions will go unnoticed as African referees have to make quick decisions in real time. A 2-0 defeat would have been reachable for Galaxy but a 3-0 deficit against a team yet to lose a ‘home’ game this season could be an uphill task.