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Bucs dim island minnows' stars

Augustine Mulenga of Orlando Pirates controls the ball in a CAF Champions League against Light Stars. /Lefty Shivambu/Gallo
Augustine Mulenga of Orlando Pirates controls the ball in a CAF Champions League against Light Stars. /Lefty Shivambu/Gallo

Orlando Pirates achieved a heavenly result winning 5-1 against Light Stars of Seychelles in what was their start of a hellish challenge in terms of their schedule.

Bucs's tough schedule - playing seven matches in 25 days, got off to a great start in this CAF Champions League preliminary first leg tie.

The visitors took a shock early lead through Mario Rova, but Micho Sredojevic's men replied through Thabo Qalinge, Augustine Mulenga, Mpho Makola, Justin Shonga and Linda Mntambo for a comfortable home win, but it could have been more.

Sredojevic, though, would be pleased with the win considering he gave a couple of non-regulars an opportunity to start; Qalinge and Makola, who was captain on the night, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Meshack Maphangule and Mntambo all getting a rare nod.

Pirates' schedule was one of the talking points ahead of the clash, but this was some walk in the park and their Serbian mentor would be relieved it wasn't anything physical with hopes from the Pirates camp that all players stay on their feet for the next three weeks.

The hosts started off on a bad footing conceding within 16 minutes with their defence cut open for Ravo to beat Jackson Mabokgwane in a one-on-one situation.

Pirates needed to respond quickly to ease the fears of their supporters and it came within 10 minutes with Qalinge firing home.

Light Stars held on a bit longer but the visitors had no answers with Mulenga getting on the scoresheet seven minutes before the break and Makola, with a stunning free kick, had the home supporters dancing comfortably to King Monada's popular Malwedhe hit during the break.

Pirates took the foot off the pedal in the second half and it didn't help their cause that Light Stars were cramping, which was not surprising considering these are amateurs and from a country where football is played for fun and not results.

But despite a boring affair in the second half, Pirates had the last say with late goals from Shonga, who came off the bench and Mntambo, who made amends for his earlier misses.

The second leg will be played in the Seychelles next week.

Meanwhile, Mamelodi Sundowns also got their CAF Champions League campaign off to a positive start, winning 2-0 away to Equatorial Guinea's Leones Vegetarianos yesterday. Jeremy Brockie scored the first goal in 10th minute with a brilliant left-foot volley, before Themba Zwane confirmed the victory in the second half.

Free State Stars played 0-0 with Mukura Victory in the Confederation Cup at Bivest Stadium, Johannesburg.

In the Absa Premiership, Bloemfontein Celtic and SuperSport United also finished 0-0 at the Dr Molemela Stadium.

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