Bucs Sink Usuthu In Extra-Time
Orlando Pirates progressed to the semi-finals of the Telkom Knockout after defeating AmaZulu 3-1 in extra-time on Saturday.
A brace from Thembinkosi Lorch inspired Orlando Pirates to a 3-1 win over AmaZulu to book their spot in the Telkom Knockout semi-finals.
There was a debut for the Buccaneers as Asavela Mbekile was drafted into the defence, while Abbubaker Mobara dropped out.
The Buccaneers started the game on a high note, playing with verve and purpose but they were not frequently entering the last third.
Cavin Johnson’s charges were threatening to go ahead after 20 minutes on set-pieces particularly from Marc Van Heerden but Bucs dealt with the danger.
Thembinkosi Lorch should have got the breakthrough for Milutin Sredojevic’s troops in the 26th minute with a chance at point-blank range but his shot was saved by AmaZulu shot-stopper Siyabonga Mbatha.
Lorch made up for his earlier miss as he made it 1-0 for Bucs in the 36th minute with a low shot past Mbatha following a through ball from Vincent Pule
Bonginkosi Ntuli almost immediately brought parity for Usuthu, making it 1-1 four minutes later with a free-header inside the box to sends the sides level into the halftime break.
Sibusiso Mabiliso had a chance to give Usuthu the lead three minutes into the second stanza with a powerful low shot from just outside the box that bottom corner narrowly
Justin Shonga had a chance for Pirates on the hour-mark free at the back post but his header could not find the bottom corner following a cross.
However, the tempo of the game was slowed down in the last ten minutes as the possibility of extra-time was imminent.
Ultimately, neither side could find an opening in the remaining stages of the half, forcing the clash to extra-time.
Two minutes into extra-time, Xolani Mlambo snatched the lead for Bucs low strike from just inside the box that sailed into the far corner.
Lorch sealed the win for the Buccaneers two minutes into the second stanza of extra-time with a clinical finish at the near post after he was sent through on goal.
Lorch almost completed his hat-trick seven minutes before time for Pirates after going through on goal, but his shot came off the bottom post with the net gaping.
The game ended on a sour note as AmaZulu’s Samuel Darpoh was sent off in the closing stages for picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.
Pirates were already home and dry in the closing minutes and managed the game to seal a place in the last four of the competition.