Though they were well beaten, Pirates' goal in a 3-1 defeat should give them hope for the return leg of this African Champions League preliminary match in Angola on March 4.
For all the promises made in the days leading up to this game, and for all the ambitions declared by Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza about a second Champions League title, the Buccaneers delivered very little yesterday.
In what seemed to be the blink of an eye, Recreativo do Libolo were ahead 2-0. Both goals came from Maieco Domingos Henrique who scored on the 12th and 16th minutes.
The double strike knocked the wind out of the Pirates' sails. But 15 minutes into the second half, it got worse when Henri Camara scored the third for the visitors.
Rooi Mahamutsa netted a consolation goal for Pirates in added time, to give The Ghost hope.
Pirates' defence looked shaky and leaked like a sieve while the Angolans were determined and seldom looked like letting the hosts through. It was only a slip-up right near the end that let them down.