Buccaneers nail Downs and defend their MTN8 trophy

Orlando Pirates defended their MTN8 trophy after a hard-fought victory over favourites Mamelodi Sundowns at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night. Pirates won the match 3-1 via penalty kicks after an exhausting encounter.

Bucs goalkeeper Sipho Chaine was the hero after he saved three penalty kicks, leaving the Sundowns players and supporters stunned. While Chaine was great in saving the penalties, the Sundowns players were poor in their execution. Bongani Zungu, Junior Mendietta and Teboho Mokoena were denied by the agile Chaine. Mothobi Mvala scored the only goal for the Brazilians.

The Pirates stars were clinical with their spot-kicks. Deon Hotto, Lesedi Kapinga and Karim Kimvuidi converted their kicks while Tapelo Xoki’s effort went wide.

It was sweet revenge for the Buccaneers after the Brazilians defeated them in the DStv Premiership last month in Soweto. The trophy is Pirates’ coach Jose Riveiro’s third since he joined the club at the beginning of last season.

Sundowns dominated the match and created more and better scoring opportunities, but they could not get the ball over the line. The league champions can feel a little hard-done by the referee Ayabonga Tom after he ignored two clear penalty calls. The first was a hand-ball from Bandile Shandu inside the box and the second a late tackle by Chaine, also inside the penalty box.

While the Durban crowd filled the stadium to capacity and created a razzmatazz and an electrifying atmosphere, the match will not go down as one of the most exciting cup finals. It was a rather drab affair and the gale force wind contributed to a scrappy encounter. The wind made it difficult for the two teams to play their normal flowing football with the ball and passes going wayward.

The two sides huffed and puffed throughout the 90 minutes and the game went into extra time but the goals were just not coming. It was then up to the lottery of penalties and the Buccaneers were more composed and grabbed the opportunity.

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