Orlando Pirates' problem highlighted again in edgy Al Ahli Tripoli semi-final

Bandile Shandu Orlando Pirates
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It's been defenders such as Bandile Shandu and Happy Jele who have boosted Bucs on the continent - they've scored seven goals between them in Africa

Despite reaching the Caf Confederation Cup final after seeing off Al Ahli Tripoli, Orlando Pirates have rarely fired on all cylinders this season.

With Pirates needing a goal to kill off a spirited Al Ahli Tripoli side in Sunday evening's second leg semi-final encounter in Soweto, the man tasked to do that was Terrence Dzvukamanja, a player who has scored just twice this season in 32 league and cup matches this season.

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The Zimbabwean plays with all his heart and brings great energy. But he has struggled to make an impact in front of goal this season, despite having been given good opportunities and is yet to win over the fans.

The problem for the Sea Robbers is that they don't have much in the way of firepower, and with Gabadinho Mhango, Tshegofatso Mabasa and Zakhele Lepasa all out of the squad on Sunday and battling to make an impact this season, Pirates have been short on goals up front.

In the end they failed to score and had to hang on nervously for a 2-1 aggregate win after losing 1-0 the second leg.

And so the absence of any real attacking threat must surely be a concern for the coaches ahead of the final in just five days time.

Silver lining - good timing?

Although not an outright striker, Vincent Pule knows the way to goal and there was good news for Bucs as he made his first appearance since October, having recovered from injury.

Pule's knack for scoring is just what Pirates have been lacking and if they are to win the Confederation Cup final, the former Bidvest Wits man may still have an important role to play, perhaps as a super sub for the Buccaneers.

Hotto key

Deon Hotto, and Kwame Peprah are Pirates' top scorers this season, with seven each in all competitions.

The Namibian usually operates as a winger, but it might be an option to allow Hotto to play as a striker up the middle; to pair him with Peprah and allow him to cause havoc in the opponents' defence.

When it comes to the final, it won't matter where the goals come from. But when it comes to next season's planning, Pirates must surely be looking at a fairly major overhaul in the striker department.

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