A hat-trick from striker Kermit Erasmus ensured that the outfit cruised to the penultimate stage of the tournament before the group stages.
Pirates won the tie 5-3 on aggregate after playing to a 2-2 draw in Gabon. They came into this match confident, after thrashing SuperSport United 4-1 on Wednesday at the same venue.
Eric Tinkler started with Thamsanqa Gabuza upfront. The lanky striker provided Pirates with enough aerial strength against a tall and physical Mounana. Ntsikelelo Nyauza, Happy Jele and Siyabonga Sangweni were also called up for their aerial prowls to stabilise the back. They did a good job with Brighton Mhlongo hardly troubled.
But it was the shortest man in the pitch who rose high to be the Pirates’ hero. Erasmus’ hat-trick pushed his overall goals tally to 14 in all competitions, his most successful spell since turning professional.
Pirates will now await their opponents in the playoffs when the draw is conducted on Tuesday in Cairo. They will join the other teams who advanced from the Confederation Cup second round to face teams that were eliminated from the Caf Champions League like Egyptian giants Al-Ahly and Raja Casablanca of Morocco.
Pirates are the country’s last hope in continental football after Kaizer Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns were eliminated in the Champions League and Bidvest Wits bombed out early in the Confederation Cup.