Spencer Sautu’s second half goal handed Tonka Tweende a historic win over the former Champions League winners
Green Eagles marked their debut in the Caf Champions League with an impressive 1-0 victory over Orlando Pirates in Lusaka on Saturday afternoon.
Aggrey Chiyangi named a strong line-up for their first-ever match in the competition with Zambia internationals Sebastian Mwange and Tapson Kaseba starting.
However, the 2019 Super League runners-up were without their club captain Ceasor Hakaloba, who was missing due to an injury.
On the other hand, Chiyangi’s counterpart Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic included two Zambian forwards Augustine Mulenga and Justin Shonga in the Bucs line-up.
Pirates dominated possession from the start with Musa Nyatama pulling the strings in the middle of the park, but the PSL giants could not seriously test Mwange in the Eagles goal-posts.
The hosts grew into the match and they were able to threaten through Hosea Silwimba, whose long-range shot was well-saved by Bucs goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands.
Kabamba Chibwe decided to try his luck from range with the half-time break approaching and the Eagles attacker’s effort was brilliantly saved by forced Sandilands.
The Pirates defence which was led by the experienced Happy Jele then contained Eagles and the score was 0-0 at the interval.
However, Tonka Tweende did get the goal they had been searching for after the restart with the Soweto giants’ defence left exposed.
Spencer Sautu was the man, who pounced and scored to make it 1-0 to Eagles against the run of play four minutes into the second half.
The visitors had to find a way to level matters and Luvuyo Memela’s cross found Alfred Ndengane, but the latter’s header was easily saved by Mwange.
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Micho responded by introducing Malawian forward Frank Mhango, who scored on his official debut for Pirates against Bloemfontein Celtic last weekend.
The former Bidvest Wits player had injected some pace into the Buccaneers’ attack as they searched for an important away goal.
However, Eagles stood firm at the back in the latter stages of the encounter and ultimately, they emerged 1-0 winners over Pirates.
The second-leg encounter is scheduled to be played at Pirates’ home ground, Orlando Stadium, on Friday, August 23.