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HomeNedbank CupPirates Win Nedbank Cup Title To Secure Double In Dramatic Fashion

Pirates Win Nedbank Cup Title To Secure Double In Dramatic Fashion

Orlando Pirates were crowned 2023 Nedbank Cup champions after a 2-1 win at a sold-out Loftus Versfeld on Saturday evening.

The game started at a frenetic pace with Sekhukhune surprisingly also taking the game to Pirates which created an open affair and end-to-end spectacle for the sold-out arena.

And they surprised everyone when Sibusiso Vilakazi opened the scoring just after the ten-minute mark as he beat Sipho Chaine on his former hunting ground with Mamelodi Sundowns.

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Sekhukhune United score a goal during the 2023 Nedbank Cup final match between Orlando Pirates and Sekhukhune United FC at Loftus Stadium in Pretoria on 27 May 2023 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Pirates came out the blocks quickly to try and get themselves back into the game, as they started with an ultra-attacking 4-2-4 formation with Terrence Dzvukamanja, Monnapule Saleng, Kermit Erasmus and Thembinkosi Lorch in advanced attacking roles.

But the Sekhukhunue defence, marshaled by captain Daniel Cardoso and Edwin Gyimah held firm for the opening half hour, where at times there was some heroic last-ditch defending from the likes of the Ghana international and former Buccaneers defender.

Pirates dominated more than 60% of the possession in the opening half and eventually found the equaliser on the brink of half time which sparked wild scenes from the Babina Noko players and bench with Victor Letsoalo, who was floored in the area, adjudged to have handled the ball.

Amid the scenes, Tapelo Xoki composed himself to slot home the penalty past Badra Ali Sangare after which a fight broke inside the area between the two sets of players and Brandon Truter was also needed to be restrained from approaching the referee Thando Ndzandzeka at the break.

Pirates were clearly buoyed by getting back on leveled terms and came out after the break with renewed energy and purpose but the Truter’s troops managed to regain their composure and looked threatening on their transitions Elias Mokwana at the heart of it.

The final twenty minutes proved rather scrappy as the legs from both sides were notably tiring out and with the final kick of the game, Dzvukamanja netted a stunning winner to steal the title from the grasp of Babina Noko.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.