Orlando Pirates have booked their place in the Carling Knockout quarter-finals after beating Cape Town Spurs at Orlando Stadium on Friday evening.
Jose Riveiro surprised many with his starting XI when Thembinkosi Lorch got his first call-up of the season, while Evidence Makgopa also got a rare start and Olisa Ndah started at the back for the injury Nkosinathi Sibisi.
The game was more open than many would’ve thought, as Cape Town Spurs perhaps even had the better chances, with Therlo Moosa coming closest but twice missing the target with shots from outside the box.
Meanwhile, Thapelo Xoki’s header following a corner only hit the upright after 24 minutes.
Pirates had a make an early change in the goalkeeping department after 31 minutes with Sipho Chaine being replaced by Melusi Buthelezi, who made his Buccaneers debut.
Deon Hotto thought he’d scored the opener in the 41st minute but Nazeer Allie cleared the ball superbly off the line.
Olisa Ndah had the first big chance of the second half but his header following a corner only hit the outside of the post.
The Buccaneers finally found a break-through after 60 minutes, when Thapelo Xoki converted a penalty after Zama Dlamini had brought down Evidence Makgopa clumsily inside the box.
Pirates were 2-0 up just four minutes later, when Kermit Erasmus rounded the Spurs goalkeeper – Sam Ramsbottom had to replaced Dlamini due to injury – after being tied up by Makgopa.
Bandile Shandu had a great chance to make it 3-0, but he was denied before Makgopa shot the rebound above the bar.
There was more reason for Bucs fans to celebrate when Vincent Pule also made his ling-awaited comeback to the pitch in the 72nd minute, replacing Patrick Maswanganyi.