Orlando Pirates reach African Champions League final

South Africa's striker Petros Mahamutsu
South Africa's striker Petros Mahamutsu

South Africa's Orlando Pirates reached the African Champions League final on the away goals rule, after a 1-1 draw at Esperance of Tunisia.

The first leg ended 0-0 in Soweto two weeks ago and when defender Rooi Mahamutsa scored with a powerful header from a corner in the 54th minute at the Rades Stadium it gave Pirates the lead and also what proved to be a decisivel away goal.

Esperance equalised within two minutes through Iheb Msakni but could not score a second goal that would have taken them to the final for a fourth successive year.

In fact it was the visitors who proved wasteful, missing numerous chances, including a header against the post from fullback Happy Jele, in a fast, flowing second half,

Orlando Pirates won the competition in 1995 in the only success for a South African club in Africa's top club competition.

In this year's final, Pirates will meet holders Al Ahly , who beat Coton Sport of Cameroon 7-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in their second leg left the sides level 2-2 on aggregate.

The final will be played over two legs in November.

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