Bucs lift trophy at last

2014-05-17 23:13

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Saving the best for last. This is what Orlando Pirates did when they finally came right with their first trophy in four attempts this season.

After losing three Cup finals before this one, the Buccaneers turned out today with a red strip, which seemed like a good omen for them and they finally got rid of the bridesmaid tag.

They got a scare in the first half after Wits took the lead through Jabulani Shongwe but to their credit, Pirates didn’t panic and turned the game around in the second stanza.

Pirates desperately wanted this one to salvage something for the season, which started so promisingly but was tarnished by losing the three finals.

Two goals by Kermit Erasmus and Sifiso Myeni made sure it was not a disastrous season as they finally got a taste of gold medals – and they had the right pin to unlock the R7?million prize money.

Pirates supporters invaded the pitch in jubilation after the final whistle to usher in their beloved club’s only trophy of the season.

Wits never gave up and threw everything they had at them until referee Zolile Mthetho blew the final whistle in this energetic, ill-tempered match.

Pirates started on the bright side as they took the game to the Students, but they were punished for not converting their chunk of ball possession into goals.

Wits’ goal came against the run of play. It could have been a different story, though, as Pirates were the better side earlier in the game and Erasmus should have done better when set free on goals in the opening minutes.

The nippy striker saw his tame effort being well-saved by Moeneeb Josephs.

Erasmus atoned for his earlier miss with a well-taken 63rd-minute goal against his former side to ensure the trophy goes to Parktown.

Pirates continued to pile on the pressure but the Students withstood the onslaught, with Siyabonga Nhlapo and Siboniso Gumede outstanding in defence.

Credit should also go to referee of the season nominee Mthetho for the outstanding manner in which he handled the game.

The match official showed maturity and man-management skills by allowing the game to flow instead of flashing his cards.

He had to take forceful control of the proceedings when emotions ran high in the second half as players went for each other’s throats, but he managed to bring the game under control.

Wits benefited from his good officiating. He blew advantage when Calvin Kadi was fouled in the box and Shongwe should thank him for not blowing and allowing play to continue.

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