Pirates advance to TKO quarters
Posted: 28 October 2017 Time: 12:52 pm
A sensational performance from Thabo Qalinge inspired Orlando Pirates to a 1-0 win over Golden Arrows in Saturday’s Telkom Knockout Round of 16 clash at the Princess Magogo Stadium.
Arrows started brightly, but it was Pirates who had the first real chance of the half 10 minutes in.
After a cross from Qalinge found the head of Issa Sarr, the hosts failed to clear and allowed Justin Shonga to shoot. However, Nkosingiphile Gumede was equal to it and made the save.
Six minutes later, Qalinge came within inches of breaking the deadlock as he headed the ball into the upright on the turn after getting on the end of an early ball into the box.
In the 30th minute, Zolani Nkombelo put the ball into the danger area from the left with Knox Mutizwa and Lerato Lamola lurking. However, neither of them was able to steer a shot on target on the stretch.
Five minutes later, Qalinge broke the deadlock. Thembinkosi Lorch headed it into his path and he lofted it over Gumede for a well-deserved opener.
That was to be the only goal of a half which the Buccaneers generally controlled. If anything, the hosts were fortunate to still be in the game.
Clinton Larsen made the first substitution of the game at half-time, bringing on Nduduzo Sibiya for Lamola.
It was a tactical change that was perhaps made to stop Pirates from overrunning Arrows in midfield, but it didn’t appear to have changed much as Pirates continued their dominance at the beginning of the second half.
Milutin Sredojević played his hand for the first time in the 63rd minute, bringing Thabo Rakhale on for Justin Shonga. Two minutes later, Arrows replaced Kudakwashe Mahachi with Yussuf Jappie.
The hosts were forced to make their third substitution in the 71st minute after Jabulani Shongwe was stretchered off. He was replaced by Thomas Chideu. Pirates then brought Abbubaker Mobara on for Lorch.
As the match progressed, Pirates lost some of their intensity — although they remained threatening on the break.
Arrows began to enjoy more chances going forward and Siphelele Magubane forced Jackson Mabokgwane into a good save in the 82nd minute.
Three minutes later, Pirates brought Thabiso Kutumela off for Gladwin Shitolo.
Pirates were fortunate to survive twice in the final moments as Mabokgwane failed to gather a cross-cum-shot from the right, only just touching it wide of the post, and then Knox Mutizwa just missed the target with a header at goal.
However, the visitors hung on to claim an altogether deserved win and march on to the next round.
HOME: Golden Arrows
Coach: Clinton Larsen
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Milutin Sredojevic