Orlando Pirates edged Kaizer Chiefs 6-5 on penalty shoot-outs in a tense Carling Black Label Cup match, played at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon
Orlando Pirates were looking for revenge over their fierce rivals while also eyeing this Cup for a record third time, having won the first two editions.
Kaizer Chiefs came into this year’s edition of the Carlig Black Label Cup as defending champions having lifted the trophy this time last year, thanks to Lehlohonolo Majoro’s controversial goal.
AmaKhosi had a brighter start to the game as their first attempt at goal from outside the box was deflected for a corner inside the opening 60 seconds of the game.
Katlego Mphela had a chance to at least force a save out of Senzo Meyiwa from a set-piece in the 18th minute, after Kingston Nkhatha was fouled by the Pirates keeper on the edge of the box, but his attempt went over the crossbar.
Nkhatha was subsequently replaced by Siphelele Mthembu as AmaKhosi’s technical team looked to keep up the pressure on their opponents by sticking to their formation.
The Buccaneers had a few attempts on goal, but nothing too serious to get the ball behind Itumeleng Khune and into the back of the net.
Happy Jele should have at least hit the target from inside the six-yard box after brilliantly connecting with Daine Klate’s free-kick, but the Bucs defender’s header sailed over the top.
Jele again got himself in a good position, this time capitalising from Chiefs’ sloppy defending after they failed to clear the ball inside their own box following Khune’s save, but the 27-year-old guided his shot wide with his right boot, five minutes from the interval.
The last chance of the game fell to Chiefs as Pirates failed to deal with Mthembu’s poorly taken cross just before the break, but Mphela misread the cross and was unable to take full advantage.
Willard Katsande fired with his weaker foot from distance three minutes after the restart, but Meyiwa put his body behind the ball to make a fine save that resulted in a corner.
Chiefs then failed to take the lead in the 65th minute after being given a penalty, following a foul on George Lebese inside the box. George Maluleka stepped up and sent his spot-kick onto the crossbar to the relief of Pirates fans out in the stands.
Pirates looked the better side from then onwards, especially in the middle of the park where Issa Sarr and Oupa Manyisa were operating, but they couldn’t trouble Khune.
Thabo Matlaba tried to beat Khune with a long range shot, but the Chiefs skipper was equal to the task. It was then clear that only penalties would determine the outcome of the match.
Mandla Masango took the first penalty and easily beat Meyiwa with a cheeky chip, but Lennox Bacela made it 1-1 with fine finish.
Maluleka saw his second penalty of the day hit the crossbar for the second time in similar fashion.
Josta Dladla brought Chiefs back to level terms, before Siyabonga Sangweni had his penalty struck over the bar. Lebese restored AmaKhosi’s advantage with a fine goal, but Mpho Makola brilliantly placed his penalty into the top corner to make it 3-3.
Katsande stepped up to take the fifth penalty and he calmly slotted home, but Pirates refused to give in as Sarr made it 4-4. Eric Mathoho sent his penalty way over the bar but Khune came to the rescue, denying Seanego Masalaelo with a fine stop.
Mthembu restored Chiefs’ lead, sending Meyiwa the wrong way, but Thandani Ntshumayelo made it 5-5 in fine style. Tefu Mashamaite had his penalty saved but Khune again came to the rescue, this time denying Rooi Mahamutsa.
Siboniso Gaxa failed to hit the back of the net, and Matlaba made no mistake with a fine finish to hand Pirates their third Carling Black Label Cup.