Orlando Pirates crowned 2023 Nedbank Cup champions

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  • Post published:May 28, 2023

Orlando Pirates were crowned 2023 Nedbank Cup champions following a late dramatic 2-1 win over Sekhukhune United at a packed Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday evening.

Sibusiso Vilakazi gave United the lead early on in front of a sold-out crowd of 50,000 in Pretoria. Tapelo Xoki tied the game with a penalty in the extra time of the first half to make it a tie.

The game looked like it would go into extra time until Dzvukamanja scored his eighth goal of the season in all competitions. This gave Pirates their ninth FA Cup title.

At the beginning of the season, Pirates hired Spanish coach Jose Riveiro. He led the team to wins in both knockout competitions and a second-place finish in the league, which got them into the CAF Champions League.

“We were not at our best tonight and it is often difficult to perform well in cup finals,” said the 47-year-old who came to South Africa after eight years coaching in Finland.

“The boys were understandably nervous given the enormity of the occasion. Being favourites put extra pressure on us.

“Orlando Pirates are a great club and this is a great day for everyone connected with them — the players, the technical staff, the officials and, most importantly, the supporters.”

Pirates will now focus on Africa, where they hope to win the Champions League for a second time. In 1995, they beat ASEC Mimosas of the Ivory Coast to win the tournament.

Since then, they have lost all of their finals, including the 2013 Champions League final against Al Ahly of Egypt and twice in the Confederations Cup, which is the second-best tournament.

Photo by Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix