PIRATES LAUGH LAST
By: Kwazi Dlamini
Two late goals helped Orlando Pirates to survive a big scare from the National First Division outift Thanda Royal Zulu as Bucs trailed 2-0 until the 90th minute.
Thanda’s Andile Fikizolo had put the home side on a commanding lead but lost concentration just before the final whistle. Ayanda Gcaba netted one back before Helder Pelembe levelled matters to force the first round of the Nedbank Cup ecounter into extra time at the Umhlathuze Sports Complex on Saturday.
In the second half of exta-time, Kermit Erasmus put Bucs on the lead but Thanda equalised to send the game to penalty shoot-out as the game ended 3-3. The Sea Robbers aced penalties, winning 3-1 to progress to the second round joining Mamelodi Sundowns who edged Ajax Cape Town on Friday.
Thanda surprised Pirates when Fikizolo netted the opener in the first minute of the game after a sloppy defending. Pirates got a freekick but Daine Klate’s shot was punched away by goalkeeper Siyabonga Mngoma.
Coming to this game, Pirates were running three games without a win and their chances of bouncing back were shattered when Fikizolo came back to complete his brace in the 36th minute.
The match went to half-time with Thanda on healthy lead. Helder Pelembe tried to force his way but his shot was saved by Ngoma early in the second half.
Pirates’ leaky defence left Mhlengi Cele on a one on one situation with Senzo Meyiwa but was denied the opportunity by the Bucs shot-stopper.
It was in the stoppage time when Gcaba and Pelembe silence the home crowd.
Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal clubs Golden Arrows and Maritzburg United advanced to the second round. Arrows adged Polokwane City 1-0 at King Zwelithini Stadium and Maritzburg ousted Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-1.
In other matches, Supersport United edged University of Pretoria 1-0. Moroka Swallows defeated Mbombela United 4-3. Platinum Stars battered Great North 3-1. Bidvest Wits power past AmaBEE by 2-0.