Africa-Press – South-Africa. After winning the MTN8 late in 2022, Orlando Pirates have secured a domestic cup double with a 2-1 win over Sekhukhune United in their Nedbank Cup final clash in Pretoria on Saturday.
RECAP | Nedbank Cup final: Orlando Pirates v Sekhukhune United
Sekhukhune United made much of the early running, with Sibusiso Vilakazi prominent for the underdogs.
It was Vilakzi that gave Sekhukhune the lead in the 13th minute as he tucked the ball home after the Pirates’ defence made an absolute mess of trying to clear a ball near their goal.
As the ball bounced between defenders, it eventually fell to the veteran, who fired home before wheeling away in delight.
Pirates almost hit back soon after, but Kermit Erasmus couldn’t divert a Monnapule Saleng cross from the right.
Pirates were now having the majority of the possession and would have wondered how they didn’t score in the 22nd minute when Sekhukhune kept out two goal-bound shots in quick succession, one of which was deflected up and onto the crossbar.
Pirates continued to look for the equaliser, and a few minutes later, Erasmus, who was at the heart of most of their attacks, found Thabang Monare, but his shot was wide of goal.
While Pirates continued to boss possession for the rest of the half, Sekhukhune United’s defence stood firm until the final minute when Pirates were awarded a penalty.
Although it initially looked like Thembinkosi Lorch had kicked the ball into the hand of the prone Victor Letsoalo, lying injured on the ground, replays showed that the Letsoalo had tried to grab the ball.
Thapelo Xoki slotted home from the spot to equalise for the Buccaneers.
Tempers continued to flare following the incident with Erasmus booked, as well as Sekhukhune coach Brandon Truter before the half-time whistle blew with the score at 1-1.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half saw much huff and puff from both sides but very little end product, which included a long-range, left-footed effort from Erasmus that sailed over the bar of Badra Sangaré in Sekhukhune’s goal.
Sekhukhune had an excellent chance for an equaliser as Sipho Chaine came off his line but didn’t collect.
The ball fell to a Sekhukhune player, but the resulting shot wasn’t on target.
Pirates had a further chance in the 65th minute when Erasmus found Lorch on the right-hand side, and while the Pirates attacker got the better of his defender, the angle was too tight for him to get a shot off on goal.
No team dominated the final 25 minutes, although there were half-chances here and there.
But deep in injury time, Pirates scored the winner as Saleng flicked a ball across goal for Terrence Dzvukamanja to slam it home past Sangere and claim a famous win for the Buccaneers.