Orlando Pirates have advanced to the quarterfinals of the CAF Confederation Cup despite losing away to Nigerian giants Enyimba, as the competition wrapped up its group phase with eight matches across the African continent late on Wednesday and into early Thursday morning.
Pirates needed only a draw in Aba to secure top spot and appeared on course for exactly that, as the goalless game went deep into injury time before the People’s Elephant, who could only advance with a victory, finally scored through Cyril Olisema for a 1-0 win.
The result was enough to lift the Nigerians to the top of the group, level with Pirates on nine points but ranked above the South African side on head-to-head results. Luckily for Bucs, group A’s other game saw ES Setif win 1-0 at home to Al Ahly Benghazi, meaning the Algerian and Libyan sides finished on eight and seven points respectively.
The six matches from groups B, C and D were all effectively dead rubbers, with the two qualifiers from each having already been decided prior to this matchday six.
The only really significant results were a 0-0 draw between CS Sfaxien and ASF Jaraaf in Sfax, which means the latter team was able to hold onto top spot in Group C, as well as a 2-0 home win for Raja Casablanca over Nkana. The Green Eagles of Morocco were the only team to end the group stage with a 100 per cent record.
The quarterfinal line-up for the Caf Confederation Cup is Enyimba, Pirates, JS Kabylie, Cotonsport, Jaraaf, Sfaxien, Raja Casablanca and Pyramids FC.
The quarterfinals for both competitions will begin in mid-May.
CAF Confederation Cup, Matcday Six Results:
Wednesday 28 - Thursday 29 April
Enyimba 1-0 Orlando Pirates
ES Setif 1-0 Al Ahly Benghazi
RS Berkane 2-1 Cotonsport
JS Kabylie 2-1 NAPSA Stars
Etoile du Sahel 2-1 Salitas
CS Sfaxien 0-0 ASC Jaraaf
Raja Casablanca 2-0 Nkana FC
Pyramids FC 1-0 Namungo.
The draw for the quarter-finals is set to take place on Friday, 30 April.