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Pirates Are MTN8 Champions!

Orlando Pirates beat Bloemfontein Celtic 2-1 in the MTN8 Final to lift the trophy at a rainy Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday night.

Josef Zinnbauer’s team came back from a goal down to beat Celtic, who were down to ten men for much of the second half.

It took just three minutes for Celtic to take the lead. Siphelele Luthuli finding himself unmarked and on-side, pounced on a loose ball to beat Richard Ofori in goal.

Pirates pushed for an equaliser, but by throwing numbers forward, it allowed Celtic as many chances on the counter, as both sides threw everything at each other.

Pirates were forced into an early change when Thabang Monare had to go off injured in the 24th minute, and Thembinkosi Lorch replaced him.

Pirates came close in the 29th minute but Fortune Makaringe went just wide, and seconds later Menzi Masuku’s effort on the other end also just missed.

But Pirates were level moments later. Deon Hotto levelling matters in the 32nd minute after he and Vincent Pule combined well to flummox the Celtic defence.

In the 38th minute Ofori made light work of saving a powerful free kick from Lantshene Phalane.

Just before halftime Zakhele Lepasa came close as he got to the end of a good ball from Makaringe, but his attempt went just wide.

Five minutes into the second half Ronald Pfumbidzai fouled Lorch in the box, penalty to Pirates and referee Luxolo Badi sent Pfumbidzai off.

Lorch stood up to to take the spot kick, and made no mistake, sending Jackson Mabokgwane the wrong way.

Ten men Celtic pushed for the equaliser, but Pirates look organised and defended resolutely.

In the 79th minute, Mabokgwane made a good save to keep it 2-1, touching over Pule’s powerful effort.

In the final seconds Ofori had to make a good save from close range, as Pirates held on to win their first trophy in six years.

Ben Motshwari was named Man of the Match.

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