Absa Premiership

Bucs beat Arrows for quarter-final place

2017-10-28 20:02
Thabo Qalinge (Supplied)

Cape Town - Thabo Qalinge scored the only goal as Orlando Pirates reached the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals with a narrow 1-0 win over Golden Arrows at the Princess Magogo Stadium in KwaMashu on Saturday.

The only goal came after 35 minutes when the ball was uncomfortably lifted over the onrushing home goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede. 

Qalinge also hit the bar earlier, but his goal proved to be the winner in an entertaining affair in Durban. 

It was the hosts’ first loss in normal play during the 2017/18 – they were beaten on penalties by Bidvest Wits in the MTN8 – with the result also ensuring that their wait for a cup win over the Soweto side continued.

Arrows began brightly and Kudakwashe Mahachi had the first opening in the third minute when the ball from the left was squared to him on the edge of the box, but he ballooned over. 

Pirates had their first chance in the 10th minute when a cross from the right was headed back across the face of goal by Issa Sarr, with Justin Shonga’s shot forcing Gumede into a sharp low save.

Thembinkosi Lorch’s driving run and shot then flew tantalisingly wide as the visitors began to find their gear. 

The Bucs came closest to breaking the deadlock after 15 minutes when Mpho Makola’s ambitious clipped pass down the middle was headed by Qalinge onto the upright as Arrows were spared.

Another chance followed Qalinge midway through the half when he headed over a floated ball from Thabiso Kutumela. 

Arrows finally had a big moment on the half-hour as Zolani Nkombelo crossed invitingly for Knox Mutizwa from the left, but the Zimbabwean could only stab wide. 

The Bucs then went ahead 10 minutes from the break as Shonga’s ball through the middle was flicked on by Kutumela and Qalinge uncomfortably lifted over the onrushing Gumede. 

It was 1-0 at the break and after the restart, Lorch and Qalinge both lost their footing at crucial times in the box as Pirates spurned two big chances to pull further ahead. 

There was another decent chance for Mutizwa in the 68th minute, but he plated a Nduduzo Sibiya corner over the bar. 

Arrows had their moment to equalise in the 82nd minute when Siphelele Magubane’s stinging shot had to be saved by a diving Jackson Mabokgwane, with the hosts then having a big penalty appeal waved away when a Pirates defender appeared to handle. 

Moments before the end Mutizwa headed wide from a Yusuf Jappie cross, before Gumede palmed over from Thabo Rakhale at the other end as Pirates progressed.


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