Pirates fight back to beat Maritzburg in Nedbank Cup

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Kabelo Dlamini. (PA/TEAMtalk media)
Kabelo Dlamini. (PA/TEAMtalk media)

Orlando Pirates advanced to the Nedbank Cup last eight with a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Maritzburg United at Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday.

Pirates won a free-kick in the fifth minute after Tebogo Tlolane brought down Siphesihle Ndlovu on the edge of the box. Deon Hotto stepped up and struck the free-kick well but it was straight down the throat of Maritzburg 'keeper Marcelo Engelhardt.

The Team of Choice had a gilt-edged opportunity to break the deadlock in the seventh minute. Bucs lost the ball in a dangerous area and Hlubi was played in down the left of the box and fired an effort towards the far corner which was parried away by Richard Ofori before the danger was cleared in the nick of time.

Ernst Middendorp's side would take the lead soon afterwards thanks to an absolute gift. A ball over the top was left by Thulani Hlatshwayo for Ofori, who had to try and dribble his way out of the danger but was dispossessed with Thabiso Kutumela stroking into an empty net.

Chances were coming thick and fast as Hotto brought a fine save out of Engelhardt at his near post in the 12th minute with a rasping effort from the Namibian international.

Shortly before the half-hour mark, Hlubi delivered from the left and Hlungwani met it with a looper that was saved by Ofori in the top right-hand corner.

Kabelo Dlamini replaced Ben Motshwari at the interval. And 11 minutes after the break, the substitute made the desired impact to put Bucs back on level terms. A long ball was well gathered by Hotto, who laid it back to the oncoming Dlamini, whose shot deflected off Clayton Daniels and into the back of the net.

Sraight from the restart, Pirates dramatically took the lead, having been behind just a minute earlier. Fortune Makaringe played the throughball down the right for Linda Mntambo, who squared the ball brilliantly into the box for Hotto to tap into an empty net.

Ofori pulled off an excellent save to deny Jose Ali Meza in the 66th minute and soon after Vincent Pule hit the post with an absolute beauty of a free-kick after winning the set-piece himself.

Pule then hit the side-netting with a superb free-kick that took everyone by surprise but he did get himself on the scoresheet soon afterwards when he pounced on a rebound to give Zinnbauer's side a two-goal cushion.

And that would be the last meaningful action of the match as Zinnbauer got one over his compatriot Middendorp.

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Sun 18 Apr 21 18:30 PM (SAST)
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