Pirates Pluck Spurs to Advance in Carling Knockout

Two second-half goals handed Orlando Pirates a 2-0 win in their Carling Knockout Round of 16 clash against Cape Town Spurs at Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

It was a commanding performance for the Buccaneers, who made a crucial step in their quest for another addition to their trophy cabinet in their first outing since successfully defending their MTN8 title.

Friday’s contest began with the two sides trading a shot apiece inside the opening 10 minutes when Patrick Maswanganyi and Morne Nel each fired wide from a fair distance out in what was a fast-paced start.

The hosts were made to do a fair bit of defending as the Cape outfit grew into the contest, with the defence holding up well to the threat.

The game’s first real close call came midway through the first half as Tapelo Xoki’s header from a corner was kept out by the upright. Pirates were almost made to rue the missed opportunity as Spurs launched a counter immediately after, forcing goalkeeper Sipho Chaine out of his line to intervene.

That proved to be the shot-stopper’s last action of the game, as he was soon subbed off for debutant Melusi Buthelezi in an injury-forced change.

The setback did not disrupt the Buccaneers in their attacking endeavours, and they could have taken the lead four minutes from the break after Deon Hotto peeled off the shoulder of the defence before knocking the ball towards goal, where it was cleared off the line by Nazeer Allie.

The first half concluded with another close call from the home side following Spurs’ failure to clear an enticing long ball from Maswanganyi, resulting in the ball landing favourably for Kermit Erasmus whose header was collected by Zama Dlamini.

There were more frustrating moments early in the second period as Olisa Ndah became yet another Bucs defender to be denied by the woodwork in the 55th minute. That was just moments before Dlamini’s inability to deal with a firmly struck shot from Thabang Monare led to what turned out to be a costly foul as he brought Evidence Makgopa down inside the box in a desperate attempt to collect the rebound.

This prompted the referee to point to the spot, where Xoki stepped up to calmly slot home the opener on the hour mark.

The Buccaneers’ lead was doubled just five minutes later, with Erasmus heavily involved in launching the move which he finished as he rounded replacement shot-stopper Sam Ramsbottom after collecting an excellent pass down the middle from Makgopa.

It could have been 3-0 in the 71st minute after Hotto’s ball from the left sparked a goal-mouth scramble where the onrushing Makgopa failed to connect before Bandile Shandu’s shot was stopped short of the line.

Pirates continued to control proceedings as they dominated possession but were unable to extend their lead.

Despite some bright moments for the visitors late in the game, the two goals proved enough to secure the Soweto Giants’ spot in the next round of the competition.

Pirates XI: Chaine (Buthelezi 31’), Xoki, Ndah, Shandu, Hotto (Mako 79’), Timm, Monare (Baloni 72’), Maswanganyi (Pule 72’), Makgopa (Kimvuidi 79’), Lorch, Erasmus.

Two second-half goals handed Orlando Pirates a 2-0 win in their Carling Knockout Round of 16 clash against Cape Town Spurs at Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

It was a commanding performance for the Buccaneers, who made a crucial step in their quest for another addition to their trophy cabinet in their first outing since successfully defending their MTN8 title.

Friday’s contest began with the two sides trading a shot apiece inside the opening 10 minutes when Patrick Maswanganyi and Morne Nel each fired wide from a fair distance out in what was a fast-paced start.

The hosts were made to do a fair bit of defending as the Cape outfit grew into the contest, with the defence holding up well to the threat.

The game’s first real close call came midway through the first half as Tapelo Xoki’s header from a corner was kept out by the upright. Pirates were almost made to rue the missed opportunity as Spurs launched a counter immediately after, forcing goalkeeper Sipho Chaine out of his line to intervene.

That proved to be the shot-stopper’s last action of the game, as he was soon subbed off for debutant Melusi Buthelezi in an injury-forced change.

The setback did not disrupt the Buccaneers in their attacking endeavours, and they could have taken the lead four minutes from the break after Deon Hotto peeled off the shoulder of the defence before knocking the ball towards goal, where it was cleared off the line by Nazeer Allie.

The first half concluded with another close call from the home side following Spurs’ failure to clear an enticing long ball from Maswanganyi, resulting in the ball landing favourably for Kermit Erasmus whose header was collected by Zama Dlamini.

There were more frustrating moments early in the second period as Olisa Ndah became yet another Bucs defender to be denied by the woodwork in the 55th minute. That was just moments before Dlamini’s inability to deal with a firmly struck shot from Thabang Monare led to what turned out to be a costly foul as he brought Evidence Makgopa down inside the box in a desperate attempt to collect the rebound.

This prompted the referee to point to the spot, where Xoki stepped up to calmly slot home the opener on the hour mark.

The Buccaneers’ lead was doubled just five minutes later, with Erasmus heavily involved in launching the move which he finished as he rounded replacement shot-stopper Sam Ramsbottom after collecting an excellent pass down the middle from Makgopa.

It could have been 3-0 in the 71st minute after Hotto’s ball from the left sparked a goal-mouth scramble where the onrushing Makgopa failed to connect before Bandile Shandu’s shot was stopped short of the line.

Pirates continued to control proceedings as they dominated possession but were unable to extend their lead.

Despite some bright moments for the visitors late in the game, the two goals proved enough to secure the Soweto Giants’ spot in the next round of the competition.

Pirates XI: Chaine (Buthelezi 31’), Xoki, Ndah, Shandu, Hotto (Mako 79’), Timm, Monare (Baloni 72’), Maswanganyi (Pule 72’), Makgopa (Kimvuidi 79’), Lorch, Erasmus.

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