Bucs win after shoot-out

2014-02-22 23:00

Orlando Pirates emerged victorious in their Nedbank Cup last-32 match, beating Thanda Royal Zulu 3-1 on penalties following a dramatic 3-3 result after extra time at the Umhlathuze Sports Complex today.

Stoppage-time goals from Ayanda Gcaba and Hélder Pelembe meant

Pirates sent the game into extra time, but Mhlengi Cele’s goal at the final minute of extra time saw the dramatic fixture end in penalties.

Bucs were looking to avoid a repeat of last season, when they were eliminated at this stage of the competition by the unknown Maluti FET College.

It seemed like déjà vu when Pirates found themselves having to chase a lead after just 40 seconds. Both Gcaba and Lucky Lekgwathi failed to clear the ball in the box and it allowed Andile Fikizolo to strike a low ball past Senzo Meyiwa.

Another chance fell to the home side 10 minutes later when Mhlengi Cele struck an effort which forced the

Pirates’ goalkeeper to dip down and make the save at the near post.

Boy Gumede tried an effort from range 15 minutes in but he was never in control of it and he saw his shot sail high and wide over the goal frame.

Thanda were undoubtedly high on confidence and they were taking the game to Pirates in the opening stages of the game.

But the Soweto outfit began acquiring the lion’s share of possession and it saw Pelembe fire Daine Klate’s short free kick over the crossbar just after the 30-minute mark.

Pirates’ wastage proved crucial as Thanda went 2-0 up in the 37th minute under impressive circumstances. Eric Tinkler’s side failed to clear their lines off a corner kick, and it allowed for

Fikizolo to fire an unstoppable effort from 25 yards out, leaving Meyiwa rooted to the spot.

Kermit Erasmus was brought on in place of Tlou Segolela at the restart, but it was Pelembe who tested Siya Mngoma for the first time in the match with his snap shot in at the near post.

The former SuperSport United man wanted a penalty, after just 10 minutes on the park, when he went to ground in the box but the referee disagreed.

Gcaba was lucky to walk away with just a yellow card after he was caught launching his foot into the lower

stomach of an opposition player. It could have, and probably should have, been a red card.

Pelembe created Pirates’ best opportunity of the day when he swung in a glancing header on the 70th minute, only to see it painstakingly denied by the crossbar.

The deficit was halved in the first minute of stoppage time when Gcaba headed in an effort to line up an exciting end to the match.

But it was Pirates who had the last laugh and sent the game into extra time when Pelembe was left unmarked at the back post and tapped in an effort to make it 2-2 in the final minute of additional time.

Pirates thought the victory was sealed in the second half of extra time when Erasmus turned on the ball and beat Mngoma 11 minutes away from the final whistle, but Cele pounced with a tap-in in the final minute of play to send the match into penalties.

The Sea Robbers did eventually come out on top, progressing 3-1 on penalties thanks to spot kicks from Oupa Manyisa, Erasmus and Makola.

  • Newsflash: Lehlohonolo Majoro and Kaizer Chiefs have reached a settlement, declaring the palyer a free agent. (Visit www.citypress.co.za for the full story)

Other results

Free State Stars 0, Witbank Spurs 1; Platinum Stars 3, Great North FC 1;

AmaBEE FC 0, Bidvest Wits 2; Ajax Cape Town 0, Mamelodi Sundowns 1

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