BUCS CROWNED NEDBANK CUP CHAMPIONS
By: Kwazi Dlamini
Orlando Pirates at last broke their cup final hoodoo and added another piece of silverware to their collection when they beat Bidvest Wits at the weekend.
A second half brace from Kermit Erasmus ensured that the Buccaneers snatched the Nedbank Cup 3-1 at a packed Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.
This was the same venue where Pirates lost the MT8 final to Platinum Stars earlier in the season, after they lost in the Telkom Knockout final in Mbombela to the same team last year.
Although Pirates had a bright start in Saturday’s match, it was Wits who took the lead when Jabulani Shongwe fired in from a tight angle past Bucs goalie Senzo Meyiwa.
The Students were searching for the double when Sthembiso Ngcobo unleashed a powerful strike not long afterwards, but it was safely saved by Meyiwa.
The Buccaneers continued to search for the equaliser but the Wits defence was not taking any prisoners. Pirates were forced to shoot from range, with Thabo Matlaba the most active.
Whatever coach Vladimir Vermezovic told his boys during the half time break worked wonders for the Bucceneers as Erasmus leveled matters just a few minutes into the second half.
Meyiwa pulled off another brilliant save when he tipped a flicked header from Ngcobo over the cross bar.
The Ghost were then sent into delirium when Sfiso Myeni tapped home a pass from Oupa Manyisa as he gave the Buccaneers the lead for the first time against his former side.
Erasmus finished off his brace after Kethokwakhe Masuku’s shot was blocked by Josephs but Erasmus was able to fire his follow up past the goalkeeper.
Ryan Chapman tried to get Wits back to the game but his header went wide, while he was also denied a goal by Meyiwa in added time.
Vermezovic was quick to thank his players for their efforts.
“Thanks to our players for the excellent game today, also thanks to our supporters here in Durban. For us it is very important to be a team, even when we losing the game and even when we are winning,” said the Serbian.
“It is not only our win. There are a lot of people behind us who support this team and thanks to all of them, especially Kermit Erasmus who scored two goals today,” said Vermezovic.
“I am glad we managed to finish the season on a high.”