FC Platinum of Zimbabwe were held to a goalless stalemate by Orlando Pirates in a CAF Champions League Group B tie on Saturday at the Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.

The visitors dominated possession in the opening exchanges of the encounter, and looked particularly threatening down the flanks, but were let down by the final ball in the area.

Platinum gradually eased into the game and should have taken the lead in the 34th minute when a defense-splitting pass by Gift Bello found Kheli Dube in the area, but the forward fired his effort straight into the hands of goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane.

Petros Mhari was called into action in the 39th minute when he produced a fine save to keep out Justin Shonga’s header.

The two sides went into the half-time break, deadlocked at 0-0.

Platinum looked to catch Pirates on the counter-attack, but poor finishing proved to be their downfall as they wasted a number of good opportunities to break the deadlock.

The Buccaneers upped their efforts towards the closing stages of the second half and were unfortunate not to take the lead in the 66th minute when Kudakwashe Mahachi’s volley went inches wide of Mhari’s goal.

Norman Mapenza introduced Gift Mbweti for Ali Sandiki in the 77th minute in a bid to get a late winner, but it proved too little too late as the two sides played to a goalless stalemate.

On the other end, Sredojevic made a change five minutes before time as he withdrew Xolani Mlambo to bring on Linda Mntambo with his final throw of the dice.

Unfortunately, chances were hard to come by in the closing stages on both ends and the sides settled for a draw in their Group B opener.

How they lined up:

FC Platinum Starting XI: Petros Mhari, Devon Chafa, Farai Edwin Madhananga, William Stima, Gift Bello, Ali Sadiki, Kelvin Madzongwe, Rahman Kutsanzira, Kevin Moyo, Raphael Muduviwa, Kheli Dube

Orlando Pirates Starting XI: Jackson Mabokgwane, Happy Jele, Asavela Shakespeare Mbekile, Alfred Ndengane, Innocent Maela, Musa Nyatama, Xola Mlambo, Marshall Munetsi, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Thembinkosi Lorch, Justin Shonga

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