Bucs beat 10-man Leopards
Johannesburg - Defending Telkom Knockout champions Orlando Pirates moved into the quarter-finals of the cup competition on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Black Leopards at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
The Buccaneers defeated Lidoda Duvha at this same stage of the TKO last year, and history repeated itself thanks to a brace from Zambian marksman Collins Mbesuma. The home side also had a man sent off in the first half.
Pirates debutant Lehlogonolo Masalesa immediately showed his class, creating the opening goal in the sixth minute with a great cross from the right flank that was headed home by Mbesuma.
The striker had a good chance to double Pirates’ advantage just over ten minutes when he turned inside the Leopards penalty area and directed a shot on goal, but goalkeeper Posnett Omony made a comfortable save.
Just past the half hour mark Omony again denied Mbesuma after some slick build-up play by Bucs, while at the other end Ramagalela almost caught Moeneeb Josephs napping with a long range effort that sailed just over the crossbar.
By this stage the home side had begun to get a foothold in the game, but on 39 minutes they were reduced to ten men when left-back Thulani Ntshingila received his second booking and was sent for an early shower.
Mbesuma continued to look threatening in the second half and should have racked up a second goal on 57 minutes when Patrick Phungwayo provided an excellent cross from an overlapping run, but the Zambian headed over the top from close range.
Josephs was little more than a spectator once Leopards had been reduced to 10 men, but on 77 minutes he was forced into an excellent save, tipping over a goal-bound long range effort from the home side’s captain Mongezi Bobe.
Mbesuma hit the outside of the post on 79 minutes, but his search for an elusive second goal ended just a minute later. Omony gave away possession in a dangerous area, Ndumiso Mabena provided a low cross, and Mbesuma finished easily with a low shot to finally put the result beyond doubt.