Pirates lift Carling Black Label Cupby MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ORLANDO Pirates have retained the annual Carling Black Label Cup after a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the First National Bank Stadium.
The two teams finished deadlocked at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Chiefs and Pirates started cautiously, content with keeping possession than making forays into enemy territory.
The first shot at goal would eventually come after 16 minutes via new Chiefs captain, Siphiwe Tshabalala, but it was comfortable for Brighton Mhlongo.
At the other end, Chiefs ‘keeper Riyadh Piertese brilliantly denied Thamsanqa Gabuza one-on-one.
There was little he could do however in the 20th minute when winger Sifiso Myeni expertly curled in a setpiece to give Pirates the lead.
Chiefs pressed hard for the equaliser but their efforts yielded nothing as Pirates took a deserved lead to the break.
Pirates had an opportunity to widen their lead in the 58th minute but substitute Tendai Ndoro shot straight at Piertese who smothered the effort.
After an hour, the Chiefs’ section of the sold-out FNB Stadium looked on in disbelief as the ever-improving Mhlongo pulled a stunning save from a Tshabalala setpiece.
Chiefs pressure would eventually yield results as midfielder Reneilwe Letsholanyane slid the ball under Mhlongo from close range after poor defensive work by Pirates.
Six minutes of time added on was not enough to separate the two rivals, resulting in the spotckicks.
Mhlongo was the hero as he saved efforts from Letsholonyane and Keegan Ritchie while Patrick Phungwayo missed for Pirates.
Ndoro scored the final penalty to hand Pirates the trophy.
The match offered value for money to the 94 807 spectators that thronged the historic venue to witness one of the world’s most prominent derbies.
– CAJ News
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