Bucs bounce back

2013-08-12 00:00

ORLANDO Pirates are into the semi-finals of the 2013 MTN8 after beating SuperSport United 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after a 2-2 draw at the Mbombela Stadium yesterday afternoon.

The game was decided on spot kicks after two hours of football.

Both teams hit the ground running, making their intentions clear from the word go while trying to impose themselves on the game.

As early as 15 minutes, Roger de Sa’s side were dealt a blow when Collins Mbesuma was stretchered off the pitch with an ankle injury after colliding with Thabo September. He was soon replaced by new signing Lennox Bacela.

Despite losing Mbesuma, Pirates kept their heads as they continued to attack, pushing all over the field.

In the 22nd minute Thandani Ntshumayelo saw his long drive effort going slightly off the mark. Three minutes later, Rowen Williams was forced to keep out a Dane Klate free-kick. Klate looked determined to make the difference as he saw his header coming off the woodwork two minutes later.

Around the half-hour mark Thuso Phala had a crack towards the goal but Bucs ’keeper Senzo Meyiwa saved the day. A minute later, under bizarre circumstances, SuperSport got the lead.

Thabo Matlaba made a blunder as he flicked a SuperSport throw into his own net to beat Meyiwa, who was off his line.

In the 40th minute, the Pirates had a good opportunity to get back into the game after Sifiso Myeni was brought down at the edge of the box by Edwin Gyimah. Klate followed with a free-kick that came off Kurt Lentjies’s head for a corner kick.

The start of the second half lacked the electrifying pace that was on show in the first. With eight minutes played, Rooi Mahamutsa was at the end of a Pirates’ corner kick with a deft peace of footwork, but his effort went off target.

In search of a goal, De Sa threw in Kermit Erasmus. It wasn’t long before the tactical change paid off. The former SuperSport man combined well with Bacela.

Bacela, who was inside the box, made no mistake as his shot found the back of the net.

With 18 minutes to play, Meyiwa was forced to push away a Sibusiso Khumalo strike that looked harmless until it hit a bumpy surface.

The chance of the game fell to Pirates after Mogogi Gabonamong brought down Erasmus a few yards outside the box, but Bacela took his free-kick over the bar.

SuperSport United took the lead three minutes into extra time through Gabonamong. Mame Niang used his aerial advantage after challenging Meyiwa in a cross and the Pirates goalkeeper couldn’t handle the ball. The Botswana International smashed the ball to an empty net.

Pirates continued to attack as they looked hungrier and determined in search of the equaliser.

The Pretoria side were eight minutes away from glory when substitute Thulasizwe Mbuyane played a cross into the box and Bacela rose to the occasion again as he scored the equaliser, forcing the game to a penalty shoot-out.

With SuperSport coming under pressure, they soon lost Sibusiso Khumalo after he received a second yellow card. However, they managed to hang on until the end.

After a tense penalty shoot-out, the Buccaneers came out victorious as they only failed to convert one penalty compared to their opponents, who managed to convert just three of theirs.

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