Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Felipe Ovono cost his side a place in the MTN8 Cup semi-finals as he made two silly mistakes that allowed Bidvest Wits to come back from a goal down to beat his side 2-1 here last night.
The Equatorial Guinea international broke Bucs fans’ hearts when he conceded a goal in each half to end coach Muhsin Ertugral’s hopes of winning his first trophy in charge of the club.
Ovono made a huge blunder in the 37th minute when he held Buhle Mkhwanazi’s header and rolled over the goal line to give Wits the equaliser that cancelled out Oupa Manyisa’s goal that had come from the penalty spot.
Ovono seemed to have butter fingers as he gifted Wits defender Thulani Hlatshwayo the second goal from a rebound in the 76th minute after he had spilt Thabang Monare’s long-range shot.
The victory has increased Wits coach Gavin Hunt’s chances of winning the trophy for the first time, while Ertugral has now failed to lift the trophy for the second time, having won it with Kaizer Chiefs in 2001.
This was an interesting clash considering that both teams ended the 2015/16 season without a trophy. The last time the Students won some silverware was in 2010 when they lifted the Nedbank Cup. Ironically, Pirates’ last trophy in their cabinet was also the Ke Yona Cup in 2014.
Bucs have enjoyed dominance over Wits in cup competitions having claimed five victories compared to four for the Students, while the teams drew three times.
Ertugral made two changes to the side that thrashed Golden Arrows 3-1 in their Absa Premiership opening match on Wednesday. His new recruit, Abbubaker Mobara, finally made his debut in place of Happy Jele who was relegated to the stands together with winger Bernard Morrison, who was replaced by Riyaad Norodien.
The Turkish-born mentor showed his trust in youngster Thembela Sikhakhane, who retained his right-back position after dishing out a sterling performance against his former club, Arrows.
On the other hand, Hunt also made two changes to the side that beat Chiefs 2-1 on Tuesday in their first league match at the same venue.
He preferred striker Mogakolodi Ngele ahead of Elias Pelembe who was on the bench, while Cuthbert Malajila started in place of Eleazar Rodgers.
Wits deserved the victory as they kept Pirates on the back foot in both halves, forcing them to concede many corner kicks.