Pirates book spot in Caf Confed Cup semis

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  • Post published:April 24, 2022

Orlando Pirates booked their place in the Caf Confederation Cup semi-finals after defeating Simba SC 4-3 on penalties at the Orlando Stadium on Sunday evening.

The Buccaneers got off to a bright start and produced the first chance of the game after four minutes but Simba keeper Aishi Manula was on hand to deny their effort.

Bandile Shandu should have handed Pirates the lead in the 12th minute but the fullback fired his effort wide of goal after some great interplay between himself and Kwame Peprah.

Deon Hotto had a chance to give his side the lead in the 27th minute but the Pirates attacker fired his free kick just wide of goal from the edge of the box.

The Buccaneers came close to breaking the deadlock in the 31st minute after Thembinkosi Lorch played a lovely ball into the box, but it was just out of Fortune Makaringe’s reach.

The home side pressed forward in the closing stages of the first half as they went in search of the leading goal but they were unable to penetrate the Simba defence in the first 45 minutes.

Pirates opted to bring on fresh legs after the restart as Linda Mntambo was brought on to replace Abel Mabaso.

Mntambo looked to make an instant impact in the 52nd minute since coming on as a substitute when he unleashed a powerful effort from distances, which sailed well wide of the target.

Simba were then reduced to 10-men six minutes later after Chris Mugalu was sent off for his challenge on Ndah after consultation with VAR.

Pirates managed to finally take the lead on the hour mark as they took full advantage of their one-man advantage as Peprah headed the ball home to make it 1-0 before bringing on Tshegofatso Mabasa for Dzvukamanja a minute later.

Mntambo had a chance to double his side’s lead in the 74th minute when he unleashed a strike from 35 yards out but he was unable to keep his effort on target as it sailed wide of the goal.

The Buccaneers then brought on Gabadinho Mhango in place of Kwame Peprah in the 77th minute before Maela was replaced by Kabelo Dlamini four minutes later.

Mabasa should have made it 2-0 in the 85th minute when he latched on to a cross from Lorch, but his header towards goal rolled just wide of the target.

Pirates thought they should’ve been awarded a penalty a minute later after a handball inside the box but VAR decided against awarding the penalty.

VAR was called into play deep into stoppage time after Pirates appealed for another handball inside the box but after a check, it was ruled as a goal kick, which ultimately proved to be the last action of the game as the match ended 1-1 on aggregate and will have to be settled in a penalty shootout.

Pirates managed to claim a 4-3 win in the penalty shootout after goalkeeper Richard Ofori calmly slotted the ball past his counterpart Manula to send his side into the semi-finals.

©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix