Friday Fireworks as 2024 Pirates Cup Heats Up

The 2024 Pirates Cup continued to deliver some sparkling action, as more teams advanced to the Round of 16 following a dramatic day of football on Friday.

The second day of this year’s tournament saw six more men’s teams securing qualification for the next round, joining the four group winners from the opening day, while the four women’s teams remaining in the competition await the start of the semifinals.

Among the teams that caught the eye as Day Two action got underway were Group F winners TS Galaxy, who booked their spot in the knockouts through wins against Invitational XI, Tembisa Destroyers, and Real Stars. Their haul of nine points placed them alongside Teltonika Amahle and SuperSport United as the three men’s teams to finish the group stage with a 100%-win record.

The young Rockets however turned out to be the only team to breeze through to the next round, with the other groups delivering neck-and-neck battles.

University of Johannesburg triumphed in a tight Group E, where they were separated by a point from runners-up Celta Vigo. The two teams had locked horns in one of the day’s opening fixtures, where a lone strike from Tokoloho Vilakazi was enough to hand the Braamfontein-based outfit what proved to be a crucial victory in the context of the group. 

A similar tale played out in Group G, where Wits’ 2-1 win over Perfect Academy proved to be the deciding factor as the two sides finished with seven and six points, respectively. School of Excellence’s hopes of a long run in the competition crashed late in the day when they were held to a goalless draw by Wits, which restricted them to just four points.

The other teams to secure automatic qualification into the next round were Group I winners Sekhukhune United and University of Pretoria who triumphed in Group J, while Turfloop City edged 2022 champions Ambassadors in a tightly-contested Group H, also decided by a single point. 

The Pirates Cup continues on Saturday, with teams from Group K to N looking to add their names to the 10 teams with confirmed spots in the Round of 16. 

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