Mahachi makes Champions League bow with Pirates

By Wellington Toni

ZIMBABWEAN international Kuda Mahachi is slowly forcing his way into the Orlando Pirates starting line up after playing an entire match on Wednesday as the South African giants reached the first round of the Caf Champions League.
Pirates cruised into the next round of the CAF Champions League after a 3-1 win over Light Stars in the Seychelles on Wednesday.
Linda Mntambo, Thamsanqa Gabuza and Abel Mabaso scored for the Buccaneers, who conceded a late goal at Amitie Stadium in a match where Warriors international Marshal Munetsi did not feature.
The Soweto giants advanced 8-2 on aggregate, having thumped the minnows 5-1 on home soil in the first leg of the preliminary-round
Mntambo scored the opener 11 minutes inthe first half after combining with Zimbabwean playmaker Mahachi, adding to the goal he scored in the previous meeting between the sides.
Mahachi has been starved of game time of late, and even lost his place in the Zimbabwe national senior soccer team, but recent strong
performances off the bench have seen him getting a starting berth.
He has to consolidate his place between now and the new year and hope he makes the next Warriors squad for the last 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Congo in Harare in March.
Before that, the former Highlanders, Chicken Inn and Mamelodi Sundowns man will be hopeing he did enough to convince coach Micho to start him again in the Telkom Knockout final against Baroka this Saturday.
The Buccaneers, who are back in continental club football for the first time since 2015, will face Namibian club African Stars, who beat
Volcan Club 2-1 on aggregate, as the 1995 champions look to book themselves a spot in the round-robin phase. Pirates will host the
first leg.
Despite losing 2-1 in their CAF Confederation Cup second leg preliminary tie against Zimamoto in Zanzibar, Pirates’ Soweto rivals
Kaizer Chiefs progressed to the next round with a 5-2 aggregate win.
Amakhosi will take on ASSM Elgeco Plus in the next round and they will host the first leg. Elgeco beat Deportivo Unidad 4-3 on aggregate to progress.
The first leg matches will be played between December 14 and 16.

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