Ghana forward Kwame Peprah was among the goals as South Africa’s Orlando Pirates crushed eSwatini champions Royal Leopards 6-2 on Sunday to boost their 2021/22 Caf Confederation Cup group stage campaign.
The Buccaneers fell two goals behind within eight minutes of the kick-off at Leopards’ adopted home grounds – the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.
Pirates captain Happy Jele deflected a shot into his own net and Thabiso Mokenkoane doubled the lead by nodding a cross past goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, who bore the brunt of the blame for their 3-2 away defeat to Al Ittihad of Libya last weekend.
Another own goal, this time by Machawe Dlamini, halved the deficit midway through the opening half.
Bandile Shandu levelled the scores for Pirates after a brilliant build-up in the 38th minute.
Former King Faisal captain Kwame Peprah then made it 3-2 right into first-half stoppage time with a free header.
It was one-way traffic toward Leopards goalkeeper Phephisani Msibi in the second half and Jele, Kabelo Dlamini and Zimbabwean Terrence Dzvukamanja took turns to net for a decisive victory.
The heavy loss for the eSwatini police team came after they caused one of the biggest shocks in the 18 years of the Confederation Cup by eliminating JS Kabylie of Algeria, the 2021 runners-up.
It did not help their cause that they were forced to host Pirates in South Africa because their home ground does not meet international standards.
Leopards play Al Ittihad in a rearranged fixture in Mbombela next Sunday before tackling Pirates again on March 13.
Victory lifted 2015 Confederation Cup runners-up Pirates to the top of Group B with six points, JS Saoura of Algeria and Ittihad have four each and Leopards are without a point.